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MotoGP Aragon: GP15’s braking characteristics holding Dovizioso back

“We work a lot since the Sepang test but this is one of the characteristics of the bike. In the braking I can't be really strong or aggressive.”
Andrea Dovizioso left Aragon with varying emotions as he turned a desperate Saturday around to finish the MotoGP race a fighting fifth, his best dry result since Le Mans in May.

Yet the braking issues that have been a factor all year have not been solved and Dovizioso stated he and his team “can't be happy” to have finished 17 seconds behind team-mate Andrea Iannone.

Notoriously late in the braking zone, Dovizioso's style varies from that of Iannone, and the 2004 125cc world champion admitted on Sunday that he cannot ride the GP15 in the aggressive manner he wants.

“In one way I'm not happy but in another side to start 13th in MotoGP it's really difficult to gain a position,” said the Italian. “The fifth position final result is really good for us but we can't be happy with the speed. I wasn't so fast. Every practice and also the race. We can't be happy about this.

“I was struggling a lot on braking. For the characteristics and the style I have I need strong braking. I can't be aggressive. I can't push too much. In the middle of the corner I'm not so fast. With the grip we had today it was very difficult to make a lot of fast laps.

“We work a lot since the Sepang test but I think this is one of the characteristics of the bike. Sure we can improve but I don't know how much. We did a good job because with a completely new bike this year we improve a lot the turning. But it's quite normal to lose in other areas. This is what happened.

“In the braking I can't be really strong or aggressive. The characteristics of my style I need a really strong braking to use the potential of the bike, to go faster. I'm struggling with that a little and it's difficult to stay on the limit of the bike. I think this is the main reason why I wasn't really fast.”

Speaking of the race in which he made a fantastic start, gaining eight places in the opening laps, the speed of Dovizioso's machine along the lengthy back straight was off-set by a lack of feeling in long corners taken at maximum angle.

“I did a good start. Especially the first two laps I gain a lot of position. After I wasn't fast enough in the middle of the corner so I lost the contact with Iannone, Valentino and Dani. I had a small margin to make a rhythm and not to crash. I wasn't comfortable and smooth enough to push every lap. At the end I was quite strong in one area of the track.

“The rear tyre drop a little bit step-by-step, lap-by-lap and when I had to make a long corner at maximum angle I was very slow. Especially the last corner and turn ten. Aleix, with less power, he was able to stay with me. In the middle of the corner, sure he was faster than me. I saw him just three corners but I can imagine because in the straight my bike was much faster than the Suzuki.

"Fortunately when he overtake me three laps from the end I overtake him immediately and try to push a little bit more, not to arrive in a battle with him. It's not the best to finish with Aleix because he's very aggressive. My plan works so I was able to finish in front of them.”

Sitting sixth in the championship, now just four points behind Bradley Smith in fifth, Dovizioso was quick to rule out the possibility that the Ducati's fearsome top speed plays a role in his current braking woes.

“The power is not important. We gain on the straight and the problem is not just at the end of the straight, it happens in slow corners. It's not about power. it's not related to the power.”

Along with turning, Dovizioso also sees managing tyre wear as a positive of the GP15 compared to last year's machine. His adapting of style however is forcing him to use more rear rubber as he struggles in braking.

“I think it's a little bit better. There isn't a big step. It's better because the turning is better. If, for example, I'm riding like today, I need the rear grip to make my speed because I'm not too strong in the braking. I use too much the rear tyre and the drop is normal for everybody.

“In the middle of the race today the drop was too high but it was just a consequence of my riding. I wasn't fast in the middle of the corner, I couldn't gain in the braking so I had to use the rear tyre to try and go fast.”

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Dovizioso, Aragon MotoGP 2015
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September 29, 2015 2:46 PM

ianisme: I can't help but think that if Crutchlow had said this there would be a storm of haters waiting to tear into him. Funny how that works.
this is where reputation comes into play... moaning week in week out irritates people, Dovi isn't doing this every week...

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