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Q&A: Andrea Dovizioso

A Honda generated Q&A with factory MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso.
Now in his fourth year in the MotoGP class, and third with the Repsol Honda team, Andrea Dovizioso heads to his home race at Mugello this weekend third in the championship and not far from second.

Consistency has been his strength this season. The Italian from Forli, one of three 25-year-old former world champions on the Repsol Honda team, has been on the podium in three of the past four races, including in the cold and wet at Silverstone and on the cold track in the Dutch TT in Assen.

Other than an off day in the wet/dry Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, Dovizioso hasn't been worse than fourth this year.

Like his team-mates Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, Dovizioso has benefited from upgrades to the Honda RC212V, which has dominated the podium this season. The most newsworthy enhancement is the seamless gearbox, which shifts so smoothly and so quickly that it doesn't unsettle the rear tyre. We thought that was a good place to start our talk with Andrea…

How exactly does the gearbox improve the lap time?

Andrea Dovizioso:
Two things. One is the acceleration. You have faster shifting so it makes a really, really small difference in speed, but more in acceleration. But most important for the feeling of the rider is that when you're shifting on the dry, when you need to shift leaned over, the shifting is softer, faster and smoother. This makes a small difference, because there is electronic shifting and the ignition cuts out for a very small time. This time that the engine cuts out is smaller with the new transmission. The main problem in the past was when you were spinning and you needed to shift. This transmission makes it better. It's good. In some tracks, in some corners, it makes a big difference. For example in Valencia in the last corner you need to shift twice and there you can decide the line and slide a bit easier.

The transmission is just one of many improvements of the Honda RC212V.

Andrea Dovizioso:
Much of the media spoke about the transmission too much, I think.
I can say two things about that: When I tried that transmission it is something special for the rider, because you never try something big, a big mechanical difference. Because you never try something big, when you feel this you can say, 'Wow, it's so good.' And this is a really good point and Honda did a really good job with it, but it didn't make a big difference in lap time. I mean, very small. I don't believe it makes three, four-tenths a lap. It's not like this. But on the bike everything is important. So if you can improve three or four-tenths with all the improvements, it's really important.

You and Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa all have very different riding styles.

Andrea Dovizioso:
Yeah, all three riders. I thought, no, but it is like this. Big, big differences everywhere. Braking, lean angle on corner entry, throttle opening, traction control. Everything.

So when you're developing the motorcycle, who has the most influence?

Andrea Dovizioso:
We'll see next year. About this year it wasn't a problem, because there wasn't much development on the bike, there were improvements, but not development. The bike already was good. We changed a few things and made a small difference and this year we have a really good bike. But already the development is done. I think if you have a good bike with a good balance for all three riders, it's good. After that the teams will arrive at what they need to to follow the style of the riders. The important development is having a good base motorcycle. After that the important thing is the rider with the team and the engineers.

When Casey joined the team did that change the path of development?

Andrea Dovizioso:
No, nothing. The bike was already done; just he needed to adapt the bike to his style of riding.

You believe he's the fastest rider in MotoGP?

Andrea Dovizioso:
I think about the speed, yes, but it is not just the speed to win the championship. Because if you speak about the speed he would have ten championships, but it isn't like this.

You and Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) are the last of the Italian riders to come to the MotoGP class and there isn't a strong core of Italians in the 125cc class.

Andrea Dovizioso:

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dovizioso, Qatar MotoGP tests, March 2011
Nakagami, Oliveira, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Edgar Pons, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Isaac Vinales, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Schrotter, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Cortese, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Quartararo, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Pawi, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Isaac Vinales, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Quartararo, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Aegerter, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Kent, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Luthi, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Morbidelli, Luthi, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Morbidelli leads start, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Vinales overtakes Dovizioso, Qatar MotoGP Race 2017
Vinales, Dovizioso, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Pedrosa, Espargaro, Qatar MotoGP 2017

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B. Andy

June 30, 2011 9:41 AM

I like this guy. He's not the fastest but he's very very consistent. I have the feeling he's just missing the "moment of brilliance" which could make him "the first". I think this is the difference between him and the "aliens" (Stoner, JL, Rossi, Pedrosa)

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