17 November 2009
Q&A - Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso sets his sights on an improved performance in 2010 after finishing sixth in his maiden season with Repsol Honda
After finishing this year as part of the Repsol Honda Team, how would you sum up the season?
Obviously, this year's results have not been what everybody expected, starting with me. I didn't feel comfortable enough with the bike to battle with the front pack, and the problem is that we can't make any significant changes to the bike during the season, so Honda focused on preparing next year's bike. Unfortunately, I couldn't up my speed during the year and sixth place in the championship is nowhere near my dream. It has been an important year for me, to learn with the future in mind, and I know that Honda is going to work hard. I'm sure that next year, although we have to make up lost ground, all of us will increase our performance.
With more time to practice, do you think that you could have reduced the gap?
It's not that there wasn't enough time to test, but that I didn't feel comfortable with this bike. My feelings were worse than in 2008, and that was the problem. When you can't adapt to the bike, you can't achieve results until a significant change is made to the bike and they aren't changes that you can make in the practices for a Grand Prix, adjusting a little here or there.
After implementing the single tyre rule, do you think that it is a good measure, as regards the competition, not only for cutting costs?
Yes, I think it's good for everybody. I'm sure that those who already used Bridgestone had a good experience and knew the characteristics of the tyres better. It wasn't so easy for us; it wasn't the best situation, but the tyres work well and I think it's a good rule.
An important moment was the switch to Öhlins. How would you rate the change of shock absorbers?
I think that the way the Öhlins shock absorbers work is very good, but obviously we have to adapt. We have to improve the feeling with the rear shock absorbers because these are completely different to the Showa ones, which like the Öhlins have their good points and their bad. I think we've got a lot of room to improve with the Öhlins, especially with next year's bike, on which every movement, the way in which the shock absorbers work, will be better.
Throughout the season, you've had problems entering turns. Do you think that you are going in the right direction with the new chassis?
Yes, because although everything is not fixed, there has been a change. The difference hasn't been significant enough, but the direction is the right direction. We'll have to continue working on it for Malaysia, and also on the engine, to have better control of the bike.
Given the performance of the other manufacturers, where would Honda have to work more over these few months without competition?
It's hard to say, but I don't think we have a big problem that we can pinpoint and fix quickly, but we have to change several points.
What do you think of having so few testing days?
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