2 April 2016
Dovizioso: Managing front tyre key to the race
Andrea Dovizioso feels he will need to manage Sunday's MotoGP race according to Michelin's front tyre, which he describes as 'on the limit to closing.'
Should the north of Argentina remain dry throughout Sunday, Andrea Dovizioso believes managing Michelin's front tyre will be key to the 25-lap MotoGP encounter.
The Italian described the feeling of the front rubber as 'always on the limit to closing' around the 2.9-mile Termas de Rio Hondo circuit's 14 corners and thus a particular approach will be required.
Like team-mate Andrea Iannone, Dovizioso was less concerned with Michelin's rear rubber, which was subsequently withdrawn from Sunday's allocation because of an incident regarding Scott Redding, and believes it will be a challenge not to exceed the front tyre's limit.
“You can feel the front is always on the limit to closing. Every lap it happens in these conditions. It's just about don't push over the limit, but it can happen, especially in the qualifying. So this will be a key point for the race tomorrow, to manage that."
Asked how this could affect Sunday's race should it remain dry, he continued, “I don't know. We have to see if somebody will push 100% from the beginning, but I don't think it will happen, because nobody knows really the life of the rear tire. And also, to make a good lap time you have to take a lot of risk on the front. So I think tomorrow, maybe the race will not be extremely fast from the beginning but I don't know.”
Despite struggling through Friday, Dovizioso was able to make substantial gains in qualifying. His final time of 1m 40.198s in Q2 was good enough to qualify fifth, a place ahead of his team-mate.
While admitting pole sitter Marc Marquez has a good advantage, Dovizioso is hopeful he can challenge countryman Valentino Rossi just behind.
“I'm quite happy,” said the 30-year old, before Michelin's announcement. “Especially because the feeling with the bike is good. I didn't make a perfect lap, so this is negative, but also positive, because I have margin.
“We work in the right way. After yesterday, we understood the way, the feeling in the front improve a lot. Still it's difficult to manage every situation, because you saw how many crashes. I think the front of the Michelin, in this condition and in this track is not good like in Qatar, so everybody has to manage.
“So that is the situation, the positive thing is that it's the same for everybody. So it's just about manage the tiye, and find the best set up to manage. I'm quite happy about that.
“Marc has some margin tomorrow, I think, to manage the race, but Valentino is very close, and we are very close to Valentino. So I think everything is still open. If you look at the lap time, it looks not, but I think everything is open, and also for the weather, nobody knows how it will be.”
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