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Austin MotoGP: Dovizioso edges Bautista showdown
22 April 2013
Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso came out on top of his personal battle with Alvaro Bautista at the Austin MotoGP, but the Italian was ultimately unhappy with seventh place at the Circuit of the Americas.
Dovizioso and Bautista were locked in a long duel that reached an exciting climax on the final lap, with Dovi passing the Gresini Honda rider at the final corner.
Later, the factory Ducati star described the face-off with Bautista as 'fun' but Dovizioso admitted he has higher expectations than finishing outside the top six.
“Obviously, we're not satisfied with seventh place, but the race time wasn't bad.
“I was able to keep a good pace below 2m 06s, so I'm pleased with my aggression and effort,” he said.
“I managed to be pretty consistent up until the final five or six laps.
“The last three laps with Bautista were fun—a nice battle!
“We know we have to work hard, because this is our limit at the moment, but we're really motivated to improve.”
Bernhard Gobmeier, Ducati Corse General Manager, said a 'major issue' with GP13 is still to be resolved, with Dovizioso and Hayden struggling to hold their line in the corners.
“We certainly had a slight disadvantage, not testing here in March against the other teams, and we realise that against the other factory bikes we can't keep up over race distance," he said.
"We made some improvements to several aspects of the bike, but a major issue remains; we can't hold a line, so we run wide in the corners.
"That prevents better lap times and adds up at the end, especially on this track, which has a lot of sequential corners," added Gobmeier.
"We look forward to Jerez. In the last test there, we saw some potential for improvement and in addition, we'll have the support of our test rider, Michele Pirro, who is doing his first wildcard race for us there.”