11 August 2016
MotoGP Austria: Dovizioso shrugs off victory pressure
"We are confident but the biggest change will be the tyres. We have to understand if our speed is the same as the test" - Andrea Dovizioso.
Andrea Dovizioso insists he is not feeling any extra pressure ahead of what looks like being a golden chance for Ducati to finally end a near six-year win drought, in Austria this weekend.
The factory has not won a MotoGP race since Casey Stoner in 2010, but its riders dominated a recent private test at the Red Bull Ring.
"For sure the media are the king for that!" smiled Dovizioso, when asked about the pressure from the media to win this weekend. "But it's not important, the most important thing is to have a good feeling with the bike and at this track, in the test, it was very, very good from the beginning."
Dovizioso confirmed that the circuit, which last held a motorcycle GP in 1997, plays to the straight-line strengths of the Desmosedici - acceleration and top speed.
"For sure the track suits our bike very well. Our bike is very fast in the straight and strong in the acceleration. The corners here are quite slow and at the test all the Ducati riders were very fast," he said.
"We are confident for the weekend, but I know very well how much our rivals are stronger during race weekends. The race is always different and the biggest change will be the tyres, because they are different from the test.
"From the first race the tyres have made the difference, so we have to try the tyre to understand if our speed is the same as the test and how the tyre will work for the race."
Stoner himself, who took part in the Austria test and was rumoured to be considering a wild-card entry for the race, will also be watching on from trackside this weekend.
"What he can do is try to give us some feedback about the line or the other riders, if they are doing different things we can try. Apart from that every rider has a different style, so his set-up for example is different from mine," Dovizioso added.
Dovizioso has been waiting even longer than Ducati for a return to the top step, with his only MotoGP victory coming at Donington Park in 2009, when at Repsol Honda.
Team-mate Andrea Iannone, who led the test, is yet to win in the premier-class.
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