21 May 2015
MotoGP: Dovi: 'Now the podium is not enough'
“We can be competitive at every track. But now the podium is not enough for us” - Andrea Dovizioso.
Only two Ducati riders have stood on a MotoGP podium four times in the opening five races of a season.
The first was Casey Stoner in 2007 and the second is Andrea Dovizioso in 2015.
It's been a remarkable Gigi Dall'Igna-inspired turnaround for Ducati, which didn't claim a single MotoGP rostrum during 2013.
But now Dovizioso is itching for victory.
Stoner's 2007 podiums were formed of three wins and a third, on his way to the factory's only MotoGP crown, while Dovizioso's consist of three second places and a third.
Dall'Igna has set Ducati's first victory since Stoner in 2010 as his target for this year and Dovizioso admits that just being on the podium is no longer enough.
“Our bike is good so we can be competitive at every track. But now the podium is not enough for us,” he said after Le Mans. “Of course it is not possible to win every race, but we need to win some races.
“Valentino has won two races, Marc one, Lorenzo two. To fight for the championship you have to start to win. We are there, we are happy but we want something more. The win.”
The perfect place to break Ducati's victory drought would be next time out at the team's home Italian round. Dovizioso and team-mate Andrea Iannone (one podium this season) recently took part in a private test to prepare for the event.
“For us Mugello is very important. For every Italian rider, but especially for Ducati. We made a test that was really important and we were quite fast, "Dovizioso said.
"Sure we will have a special motivation to go fast in the race, but today [third place at Le Mans] was further confirmation that we have to find something to fight for the victory. We are very close, but we have to understand and to find something.”
One thing Ducati won't be lacking is top speed along the fastest straight of the season.
“Every advantage is so important to try to fight with [the leaders], but if you have some km/h on the straight it is not enough on its own to stay with them. So we have to find something to really finish the race at Mugello, also because Mugello is one of the most difficult races for the [grip] drop of the rear tyre.”
Dovizioso holds third in the world championship, 19 points from Yamaha's Valentino Rossi. Iannone, who rode to a brave fifth at Le Mans after dislocating his shoulder at the Mugello test, is a further 22 points back in fifth.
But with Ducati (like Suzuki and Aprilia) currently benefiting from the Open class concessions, a question mark remains over how they would compare to Yamaha and Honda on equal terms.
"Like I always say, the advantage is to develop the bike," Dovizioso declared. "It is not really during the race weekend. Sure you also have some advantage but the biggest difference and the reason why is to bring up the level of Ducati, Suzuki, Aprilia - higher and faster."
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