Andrea Dovizioso concedes Ducati remains off the pace of the front-runners but is keeping positive despite feeling his GP19’s strengths are being lost on the slippery Misano circuit.

With MotoGP riders reporting a considerable drop in grip levels at Misano compared to San Marino GP last year, Dovizioso says it is an ongoing battle to find a positive feeling with his Ducati this weekend.

Dovizioso ended Friday practice eighth fastest, fractionally behind Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci, but over one second off pace-setter Maverick Vinales over one lap.

While the Italian rider feels vast improvements have been found between the recent two-day test and this weekend, he also believes Ducati’s strengths in acceleration and power with the GP19 are being undone by the lack of grip available from the Misano track surface.

“The grip is lower and you can’t use the traction as you don’t have a lot of grip in any area but for everybody it is like this,” Dovizioso said. “The only way to be fast is get the speed in the corners and arrive in the traction area with more speed because nobody is able to really accelerate in the traction area.

“That is our positive part of the bike and we are not able to use this like last year as the grip is less. So we can be aggressive in mid-corners but you can lose the front easily and we’ve had a lot of front locking so everybody is in the same situation but our bike works in a different way and in these conditions we are struggling a bit more.

“This is the biggest thing I think but also the competitors have improved a lot from last year and so this has created this situation.

“We struggled a little bit today but I am happy because during these two practice sessions my feeling improved quite a lot on the bike. Still, we are struggling as we don’t have the same pace as the fastest riders but the gap has got closer and this is our target so we will continue in this way.”



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