If ten years of MotoGP experience provides one thing, it’s perspective, a skill Andrea Dovizioso utilised to the full when analyzing his performance at the close of Saturday's testing at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.

Dovizioso was just ninth fastest, over half a second back of pace setter Marc Marquez, on a day in which he tested an updated Ducati chassis and several different aerodynamic fairings for the GP18 in the searing Thai heat.

And while the chassis did not offer any real improvements in the way of turning, and one fairing did not appear to have any real benefits over the other, Dovizioso still declared himself to be “really happy” at the close of the day's action.

The reason was his pace; always fast when stringing laps together, Dovizioso found his race pace to be intact no matter what he was testing as a host of names attacked the 2.8-mile track for an eye-catching time.

“Fortunately we are very fast with every set-up with every fairing and every chassis," he said. "But it’s not so easy to understand which one is better.”

The high track temperatures, humidity and unusual layout in Buriram led Dovizioso to surmise a definitive conclusion on both the new chassis and fairing would have to wait until the final preseason test in Qatar in two weeks time.

“I’m happy for the moment we are at in the winter tests," he said. "We are in the middle of the tests and we have to work very hard to make a decision about all the material. Fortunately we have more material than the past - the chassis and fairing.

“Every time you have to take a decision and you have to go inside this comparison. It’s very difficult. On one side, fortunately we are very fast with every set-up with every fairing and every chassis. But it’s not so easy to understand which one is better.

“There are positives and negatives. We need more time tomorrow, but especially in Qatar with a different condition, temperature and layout. I don’t think this is the best track to make a decision about the fairing and chassis.”

The second reason behind the Italian’s quiet confidence was related to tyres. Michelin introduced a rear on Saturday that was raced last year in Austria. Several names tried this rubber, which was slightly harder, and gripped less.

This was no issue for the Ducati man, who, along with Marquez, remained quick, while others – Cal Crutchlow included – complained of the lack of feeling it offered. Crucially, Dovizioso feels this ‘Austria’ tyre, or rubber with a similar character, will be brought for the race here in October.

“I’m happy,” continued Dovizioso. “I had to stop a little bit more but if I look at the lap times it’s a strange test. Michelin brought some tyres but it looked like those tyres wouldn’t be able to make the race. So the lap time you see at the end of the day is not the reality.

“Apart from that we didn’t put the [new] tyre. They brought today the tyre from Austria where the grip is less, the spin is more and the lap time is slower. I think that is more the reality for October. Not many riders tried it. Not many riders were fast with that tyre.

“That’s why I can say I’m really happy because I was fast. Marc was fast with that tyre. So still it’s too early to understand the real potential. Not very time, but every time the media make a mistake and look at the lap time at the end of the day and make a conclusion. It’s not the reality.”

Pressed to divulge the differences between the two chassis in play, the 31-year old could only offer: “It’s very, very similar. I did the same lap time. That’s why I say it’s difficult to take a decision. First, the temperature we found here and the track is not the best to make a decision, especially if the difference is small and it’s difficult to feel.

“Like I said, I don’t feel the difference so we have to try again maybe tomorrow but especially in Qatar. I don’t know if it’s enough in Qatar but for sure in Qatar we’ll understand more than here.”


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