29 September 2014
MotoGP Aragon: Dovizioso 'I could have fought Lorenzo for win'
“I was trying to fight for victory because in the end Lorenzo won and I was close to him” - Andrea Dovizioso.
Andrea Dovizioso's perfect 2014 MotoGP points record came to an end with a rare mistake in Sunday's Aragon MotoGP.
Debuting the new Ducati GP14.2 evolution bike, the Italian was left ninth on the grid after a qualifying fall, but climbed to fourth by lap 8 of the 23 lap race.
Dovizioso was still holding that position - and closing on eventual winner Jorge Lorenzo - when the increasing rain prompted the decision to pit for his wet bike. Unfortunately for the Italian, he was caught out before the end of the lap.
“The end is really bad. But it can happen. Many riders made mistakes today," said Dovizioso. "At that moment I was trying to fight for victory, because in the end Lorenzo won and I was close to him [when I fell]. In the wet for sure I was competitive. So it was possible.”
Asked why, like so many riders, he had risked staying out so long on slicks, Dovizioso explained:
“First because in the last part of the track the rain was heavier, but in the other parts of the track - until that lap - there was almost no rain. Secondly, this morning we destroyed the wet tyres very quickly. At that moment the rain was not so heavy and if the rain had stopped maybe we couldn't finish the race in a good shape. So everyone tried to continue.
“The lap that I crashed I wanted to stop. I think that was the best strategy. Maybe the lap before, now we have seen the race, would have been even better. But on the bike it is difficult to understand every situation.
“It was difficult to see where the track was wet and I lost the rear in a high-side. The crash was quite big but luckily I only bruised my buttock, not my pelvis: it hurts a bit but it's nothing serious.”
Summing up, Dovizioso added: “We have to be happy about the weekend because we were competitive at this track and, although we started on the third row, we were fourth in the race before the rain.
“The only negative, more than the crash, is about my feeling on the bike. It wasn't really good. The grip on the rear was quite bad from the first lap. This will be important to improve the bike.
“We started with a different set-up for the race and I believe it was a little bit better that yesterday for feeling at the front, but the grip at the rear was bad, but I've heard other riders complain about that so I think it was due to the conditions. But it was a big limit for us to go faster.”
Team-mate Cal Crutchlow, riding the GP14, claimed his first podium of the season in third. It was Ducati's third rostrum of the year but they will retain the Open class benefits as the Assen bike-swap race (unlike Aragon) was officially classified as wet.
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