Andrea Dovizioso says Jorge Lorenzo's initial feeling with the Ducati during the post-Valencia MotoGP test next week will be a 'very important' moment for the Mallorcan.
Lorenzo is joining the Italian manufacturer after a glittering premier-class career at Yamaha and Dovizioso - who has ridden for Honda, Yamaha and Ducati in MotoGP - believes the five time world champion faces a huge change after nine years on the M1.
“Every story is different. It is quite hard to change and it's a very big change. It is very important how you approach the change with your mentality. At the beginning it is very difficult,” said Dovizioso, who was fifth fastest during free practice at Valencia on Friday.
“Your way to ride with a different brand – you have to adapt. The first feeling is always very important. It doesn't mean the speed you have in the first test is the reality, but the first feeling is real.
“I think Yamaha have a really good balance but from my experience I can say the negative point of a bike is impossible to see from a different brand. For sure, Yamaha has some limits and it's difficult to see for us from a competitor, especially when you have riders with a big talent. When you see Jorge and Valentino [Rossi] ride it looks like everything is perfect but it is not like this.”
Dovizioso, who claimed Ducati's second win of the season last time out at Sepang in Malaysia, says he is delighted to have the chance to remain at Ducati for the next two seasons after playing a huge role in the development of the bike.
“If you have a chance to stay where you want to stay it is always best. We have a new bike to test but I don't have to approach a different team, so this is positive for us and I am happy for this. I'm very happy to continue this story and I feel I did a lot for this. We are very close to getting important results,” he said.
“I know what we need to improve, where we need to improve, and really focus on that but for sure I feel much better and it is a good feeling.”
Dovizioso's fastest lap of 1m 31.066s in FP2 left him six tenths behind Lorenzo but the 30-year-old is satisfied with his feeling with the bike at a track where he admits he has struggled in the past.
“I'm happy with how we started today because in this track I struggled always a lot in the past, but we confirmed a good feeling I have with the bike in the last three races,” he said.
“Our speed was good this morning, also this afternoon. We worked in the afternoon with the hard used tyre, so I'm happy about the lap time I did. For sure, it is not enough and in the middle of the corner I'm still too slow to prepare the exit and it's the point where we have to improve,” added Dovizioso.
“It's the characteristic of the track because we spend a lot of time with a lot of angle on the left, so it is normal the rear tyre drops and it is difficult to manage for everybody. This is where we need to improve tomorrow.”