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Sepang II MotoGP Test: Dovizioso third fastest as Sepang concludes

'We have improved much more than I expected during the test so we can be positive' - Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso produced a superb lap to end the Sepang II MotoGP test on a high as news of the Italian manufacturer's decision to switch to the Open class became official.

Dovizioso managed his fastest time on the factory Desmosedici in 2m 00.067s to finish third and only 0.068s behind Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa.

The Italian rider also completed a race simulation on the Open version and - speaking before confirmation of the Open class decision - Dovizioso said: “The simulation was with the Open bike. The lap time wasn't too bad and we have to understand how much is a negative and see if we can improve the negative point and take a decision.

“Aside from which software, the braking is much better on the entry with the GP14. We are able to stop the bike much easier and also to keep hard braking in the middle of the corner.

“Also I am an aggressive rider on the braking and I like to play on the limit of the bike. Last year I wasn't able to brake really hard because the front locked, but now I am able to brake like on the Yamaha,” he added.

“But the limit of turning stays the same and that is a big problem for us. We have improved much more than I expected during the test so we can be positive, but for the race I think the turning will affect our result. We need time to improve that point.”

Dovizioso said the issue of edge grip was a problem for the Ducati riders as much it was a concern for everyone else, although he pointed out that he had managed to close the gap to the top using Bridgestone's new rubber.

“Nobody likes [new Bridgestone tyres] because the traction is worse for everybody, but if I make a comparison with the first test here, we are closer to everybody at this test and now everybody has the same tyres,” he said.

“So for us the tyre is difficult to manage, but for us it is good because we are closer.”

Quizzed on how much of a difference the softer tyre available to Open class riders would make to his overall lap time, Dovizioso responded: “I never used the Open bike with the softer tyre. Everyone is interested to try a different tyre but until you try a tyre you don't know how much grip you can get. It is impossible also to understand Espargaro until you try the same tyre. You have to see how the bike adapts to the tyre.”

His time on the final day of the test demonstrated the progress that has been made since Gigi Dall'Igna joined the manufacturer as general manager and his impact so far has not been lost on Dovizioso.

“I'm impressed because he didn't really change the bike. Sure he made it different, but he didn't make a new bike – he just changed a few points because he didn't have time to make a new bike,” he said.

“I'm impressed with the logical way he improved our situation and I am so happy for that.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dovizioso, Sepang MotoGP test, 26-28 February 2014
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Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016
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Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Crutchlow, Vinales, Australian MotoGP 2016
Maverick Vinales, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Maverick Vinales, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
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Rossi, Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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March 01, 2014 12:16 AM

I reckon he is underrated. No team mate has ever spanked Dovi and he matched what Rossi could get out the Ducati when he got on it pace wise. He was the poor relation at HRC but was always nippjng at fhe heels of his more favoured teammates. His Tech3 performances got him back on a factory bike when its rare jndeed to get back on one once you drop to satellite. Who is the last guy to manage that feat? Fans in general do not give the guy the credit he deserves IMO. Also if Cal can give a quality rider like Dovi a close run on the Ducati like he did at T3 then thats worthy of praise. Its only mugs who reckon Dovi is a mug IMO.

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