The devil was in the details for Andrea Dovizioso on qualifying day at Silverstone, as the Italian managed to transform his fortunes drastically from morning to afternoon, giving him hope of a podium challenge.

The 33-year old was a desperate 14th at the close of FP3 as he struggled specifically with certain turns on the recently resurfaced Silverstone track.

But an intense analysis of his shortcomings took place in the later morning, which allowed the Italian to see he was attacking certain corners in the wrong way. By adjusting his lines and sampling Michelin’s hard rear tyre in the afternoon, he was immediately among the fastest names.

Not even a technical issue at the close of FP4 could hold him back. The seventh fastest time in Q2 was a good platform for Dovizioso to launch an attack on the podium places.

“I’m happy because we found a way after this morning. We were quite far, we couldn’t work on the pace and the lap time was quite bad. We studied the data, tried to understand what I did wrong and what I could change on the bike and it worked in the afternoon.

“I’m happy about that because we came back into the podium [fight]. Marc at this moment is faster but after him I think we are five riders minimum to fight for the podium. It could be hard because at this moment the three Yamahas and Rins are pretty good about the pace and especially the qualifying. But also in pace they are really good.

“In the afternoon we tried the hard rear. It was the first time. The grip was quite low but at the end it was the best tyre for everybody I think. Tomorrow it will be ever hotter than today so I think almost everybody will race with the hard rear.

“We will see. Like we expected there is a lot of fast riders and they can fight for the podium.”

Pressed on the origins of the improvement, Dovizioso said, “Some lines. Like I explained yesterday the lines are completely different to last year. Without the bumps and with this grip you have to approach the track in a completely different way in most of the corners.

“I wasn’t riding right in some corners, and was losing a few tenths. That is positive because if you make the right things you can gain some tenths easy. Still I am not 100 percent, but the lap time became normal.”

Dovizioso’s day was a total contrast to team-mate Danilo Petrucci’s. The #9 showed speed in FP3 but faded when the temperature rose.

“Many times happened this,” Dovizioso said. “Danilo is really good with the grip and sometimes he struggles with the bad grip. It’s not always like this but sometimes it happens. I didn’t speak with him but maybe this happened with him.

“Normally I’m pretty good when the grip is low. When there is a lot of grip you can see that every rider is fast. This morning, I mean I was the only rider slow! But the lap time was unbelievable from everybody.”

On the technical issue that halted him in FP4, he refused to give anything away. “Still we don’t know. They are checking if it’s something big or not.”

 

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