Perennial MotoGP bridesmaid Andrea Dovizioso can already see his customary championship runner-up spot slipping away unless the works Ducati team can do something about a lack of grip over race distance in 2020.
Dovizioso has expressed concern that after only a few laps on the GP20, the drop in traction from the Michelin rear is too big but rivals like Maverick Vinales and Alex Rind are able to cope.
“I think what we can see from the test is Maverick really strong in the simulation, Rins really comfortable. And we are not that far,” said Dovizioso, speaking at the track.
“So this is good. We did our best lap with the hard tyre, like Jack. But still the confidence is not that good.
“I have a big question mark over the drop of the tyres because when you make two, three, four runs and you split the runs, making four or five laps, it’s quite consistent. But when you make consecutive laps it’s completely different.
“It looks like more than the past. But the experience is just here in Malaysia with extreme conditions. So we will see.”
Dovizioso believes Ducati has to make a big setup alteration to make the best of the new Michelin rear as the GP20 is now behaving differently.
“First it’s to adapt to the change. The change is not that easy. That is the first point. Second, at the maximum angle you don’t have a lot of grip. But in the traction area you have a lot of grip. When you enter to the corners the rear is pushing in a different way the front compared to last year.
“That is the point that creates some limits and some problems. It’s difficult to manage because when the rear pushes the front you have better grip to do something. But when you enter it’s a bit worse.
“Still we are working on that. I think there is a margin. Or I hope, because the feeling is not that good. But this morning we improved a bit the feeling. That’s why I was able to make a good ten laps and especially a good lap time with the hard tyre.”