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Dovizioso unsure of race distance

“Unfortunately we weren't able to do a race simulation in the tests, so tyre wear is a question mark for me” – Andrea Dovizioso.
Andrea Dovizioso will start his first race as a Ducati MotoGP rider unsure what to expect over race distance in Sunday's Qatar night race.

Dovizioso, signed to replace departing superstar Valentino Rossi during what is billed by Ducati as 'something of a building year', did not complete a race simulation in testing but was pleasantly surprised by his 'qualifying' pace on new tyres.

The Italian progressed from 2.2s behind the best lap time at the first official 2013 test to 0.8s adrift during the final Jerez outing. In terms of past Losail success, Dovizioso finished fourth on his MotoGP debut at Losail in 2008, stood on the podium in 2010 and was fifth on his M1 debut for Tech 3 last year.

“Losail is a good track for me, as I've always had good races there, and I think that the Ducati's strengths can work in Qatar,” declared Dovizioso. “We head to this race determined to do well.

“We know that our pace isn't so far from the others' on new tyres, so we should certainly be able to fight for a good grid position, but we have a significant gap to make up in race configuration.

“Unfortunately we weren't able to do a race simulation in the tests, so tyre wear is a question mark for me.”

Dovizioso and team-mate Nicky Hayden are currently using lightly modified versions of last year's Desmosedici, but the rain delays at Jerez meant they still have unfinished set-up work ahead of the opening race.

“Unfortunately, we weren't able to complete our work program at Jerez, due to the bad weather,” said team manager Vittoriano Guareschi. “Now we head to Qatar, where we'll have to try some things in order to complete the setup work.

“It will be a strange race in unique conditions, as is always the case in Qatar. We hope that the wind won't bother us too much and that our team will do well. We've had very good results there in the past, so the track isn't an enemy for us.

“We've made steps over the winter, and our bike has improved at every test, so we expect to make further advances in Qatar. Andrea has done well at this circuit; he had a nice race there in his MotoGP debut and finished fourth, and we'll be happy if we're able to repeat that.

“Nicky also likes the track and has done pretty well there, but we'll have to try hard to limit tyre wear. We still have some question marks, but anyway, we're optimistic.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dovizioso, Jerez MotoGP Test March 2013
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Miller Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Petrucci, Hayden Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Petrucci, Hayden Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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The Bad Guy - Unregistered

April 02, 2013 4:21 PM

@Realist You dislike Ducati and your always the first one to jump in on here and blame Ducati for Valentinos failure to deliver,Ducati's biggest mistake was not using the 15million they paid rossi for researce and development instead of hiring a rider who Thought he could ride anything and ended up putting them 2 years behind the competition,Definitely the most expensive 80second fix in the history of Motorcycle Racing!!!!

CRT - Unregistered

April 02, 2013 4:22 PM

@ Realist He is not that far off base. Rossi took Ducati down a development path that was foreign to them, specifically for himself. The bike is no worse, no better than it was two years ago, and this is by Rossi's own admission. Although Jimmy's post was clearly written to discredit Rossi, the question still remains as to where Ducati would be had they continued the development of the frameless design.

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