Andrea Dovizioso admitted he was outsmarted by team-mate Andrea Iannone after he had to settle for the runner-up spot in the Austrian MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring.
Iannone claimed Ducati's first premier-class success since 2010 after making a late decision to use the medium rear tyre. It was a gamble that paid off as the Italian was able to run a higher pace in the closing stages of the race, preventing Dovizioso from mounting an attack for victory.
Dovizioso completed a brilliant one-two for the factory team, and was just 0.9s from Iannone, but says he was ultimately undone by Iannone's roll of the dice.
“It was disappointing at the end because the feeling with the bike was special, everything was really good and in the braking I was better than Iannone,” he said.
“I think we both did a really good strategy: we didn't want to take a risk about fuel consumption and the tyre consumption, so we didn't push at the beginning. We used a different [engine] map and didn't use the maximum speed available, but the risk that Iannone took with the [tyre] grip was the right one.
“We pushed 100 per-cent on the last six laps, but on the right I didn't have the same grip and I struggled because I couldn't stay close to him to try to overtake him,” he added.
“I'm very disappointed, but I'm disappointed about me because it was our decision. It's true it was a really big risk [to run soft tyres] for this race and this motorcycle. I couldn't arrive at the end on the last lap close to him, but we have to think also of positive things because we were first and second.”
Unlike Iannone, Dovizioso will remain at Ducati in 2017 with new signing Jorge Lorenzo and says the Desmosedici is finally becoming a much stronger all-round package.
“I'm here four years with Ducati and we struggled a lot for two years, but now we have come back really strong. We did first and second with the speed and I'm really proud to be part of this project with Ducati. The engineers are working a lot at Ducati and I know how many hours they work,” he said.
“Still we are not perfect to fight for every race but we are close and I think also at Brno we can be closer than the past. We improved the bike in the last few races and overall I think in every track we will be closer.
“We didn't arrive at something big, it is just about small things everywhere. Every rider is still working to understand the tyres,” he added.
“It's not easy because every race the tyres change – sometimes you have a good feeling and sometimes not. We have improved that a little bit and a little bit the electronics.”