Andrea Dovizioso attempted to play down his and Ducati’s speed on the first day of the MotoGP test at Jerez, stating he did not confirm his suspicions the factory had improved its turning issues with the Desmosedici GP19.

It was a positive day for those clad in red as new team-mate Danilo Petrucci led Dovizioso in a Ducati one-two, the pair a tenth of a second clear of surprise package Takaaki Nakagami. And it didn’t end there. Asked for his impressions of his pace, the Italian also exclaimed, “Really good!”

The 32-year old spent Wednesday assessing an early version of the GP19 with two different chassis. Last week at Valencia he felt Ducati had “found something interesting” regarding its well-known turning difficulties. That was not evident here.

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And Dovizioso is hopeful of having the chance to test and re-confirm his impressions tomorrow, after a fast crash at turn five brought his day to a premature close. “A small crash,” was soon accentuated by his hitting the gravel. Then “I started rolling,” he explained. 

But overall, it was a positive day. “I think me and Danilo we did a really good pace with the used tyre, apart from the good lap time with the new tyre," he said. "I'm happy about the speed, but we are here to do something different, we want to understand, we have to try to give the best feedback.

“Today we didn't confirm the same better feeling about the new one that we had in Valencia. We want now to understand better why, and maybe we have to try again tomorrow in a different way.

“Because it's always when you are working on small details like this, it's not easy to understand and to feel exactly what happened. So fortunately, the bike worked well, the speed was really good today, but we didn't improve the bike.

“So this is a confirmation that our base is good, but we want to go home with a clear idea, and I hope tomorrow to have no pain to ride, and to make a comparison, because we are here for that, and today the same things didn't happen as at Valencia.

“But like I told you, it's really small details, it's not easy.”

Asked for his impression of the crash, he said, “Nothing, I was pushing, I wanted to improve the lap time. In that moment I had the experimental rear Michelin, already some riders did the lap time with that and it worked well, and we changed the setup, we did a big step in one way, we wanted to understand.

“I tried with a used tyre, and the feeling was good on the front, also if the lap time wasn't so good, and I wanted to push with the new tyre, to really put the bike on the limit, and this is what happened, I wanted to do that. And some positives and negatives came out, that was very important for us.

“But I was a bit too fast in the middle of the corner, that setup didn't work as well as my previous setup in that moment. So I was pushing really hard, and I lost the front. A small crash at Turn 5, but the problem was when I arrived to the gravel, I started rolling.

“So I hit a lot of parts of my body. Fortunately it doesn't look like anything is broken. We did the X-ray, and on the X-ray it's very difficult to see something. It's quite big here [points at base of thumb], but maybe it's just the muscle, so let's see tomorrow when I wake up if I'm able to ride.

“Because that's what we need, to compare the material.”

And his thoughts on his consistency? “Really good!” he exclaimed. “Because me and Danilo, we did 39.1,38.9 he did with 15 laps on the tire. So I think our pace was really good. But the asphalt will be different next year, and we will not race with this temperature, for sure.”

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