Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso said that he isn’t too happy, despite finishing second place to Marc Marquez at the French MotoGP in Le Mans.
The Italian fell as low as seventh on the opening lap, before fighting back and holding off factory Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci in the closing laps for twenty important World Championship points.
Despite consolidating his position in the World Championship and heading to his and Ducati’s home race of Mugello, Dovi admitted he was frustrated at never being able to truly challenge this weekend.
“We have to be happy about the 20 points and the situation in the championship,” explained Dovizioso, who now sits just eight points behind Marquez. “This is really positive, we are there and everything is still open. This is one side.
“The other side I’m not too happy about the weekend, as I struggle a little bit. My speed was not too bad, but not good enough. So we go into the race and my confidence it wasn’t 100%. So to finish second and go home with twenty points is really positive.
“But on the other side we need to understand and analyse this weekend, because we have to find something. Marc and Honda in this moment are a bit stronger than us. We have to understand where we can have a margin to improve because we need something more about the speed so we can manage better the tyres.
“Today I was struggling, in the end to finished second is good but I was fighting with the bike, especially the rear tyre and this is not good if you want to fight for the championship. At the end I was too slow and I couldn’t keep a good pace we did until the middle of the race, so this is negative.
“We have to stay calm, as we are very close, in the championship and in this race; we have to study and have to understand.”
When Dovizioso got to second place, Marquez was already clearing off out front. When asked what he needed in order to be able to fight with Marquez, Dovizioso said: “We need the speed. When you have the speed you are able to manage a lot of things. When you are also just 2 tenths slower, everything becomes a problem.
“It’s always about speed. Every rider and bike has a different characteristic, but the important part for me is the speed, in which part of the corner is not important.”
The final seven laps saw Dovizioso holding off his team-mate for second place. Despite multiple attempted passes by Petrucci, Dovi held off his compatriot. Petrucci admitted to not wanting to take Dovizioso out like Iannone had when they were team-mate back in 2016, and Dovi said despite potentially harming his World Championship charge, he was happy there are largely no team orders in MotoGP.
“If you are in Formula One, then yes. But in our championship, no,” he said. “Especially not at the start of the season, so this is normal. It always depends which was you look at that, if you want to take the maximum maybe it can be a good idea, but in our sport, most of the times it’s not like this.”