Andrea Dovizioso has confirmed that Michelin's revised 2020 MotoGP rear tyres initially proved a challenge for Ducati.

The Italian factory was left playing catch-up to the likes of Yamaha and Suzuki at the opening Sepang test, where the corner-speed dependent 'inline' machines appeared better able to exploit the added grip from the new tyre, but the Desmosedicis looked in stronger shape by the conclusion of the Qatar outing.

Indeed, some picked Dovizioso as favourite for what could have been a third successive Losail victory if the race had gone ahead. The cautious #4 admits improvements were made at the Qatar test, but warned 'it doesn’t mean that we will be fine on all race tracks'.

“At the beginning, it looked like the new tyres weren’t adapting well to our riding style and our characteristics. But I think, in the end, we were able to improve the overall feeling with the bike during the Qatar Test," Dovizioso explained.

"Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that we will be fine on all race tracks. The rear tyres are different, and they affect the front tyres a lot. We did a lot of laps, but during a test, it is difficult to find the same conditions as in the race."

A race is yet to happen in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the best-case scenario appears to be a short season of around ten rounds, starting in mid-to-late summer.

Whatever format the championship takes, Dovizioso has his sights set on going one better than the last three seasons and handing Ducati it's first world title since Casey Stoner in 2007.

“Of course, we head into the new season to fight for the championship," he said. "If that will be possible, we are only able to find out during the season, but it is always difficult as there are a lot of fast riders. It is hard to be the best, but you need to have this mindset to become like that."

In stark contrast to the usual airport-hotel-track carousel that is a large part of life as a MotoGP rider, Dovizioso – like his fellow Italians – has been confined at home since March 9.

“Nobody expected the situation to turn out this bad, so it is really strange. Now it is crucial to stay at home. I know it is difficult, but we all have to try to go out only when needed, also because it seems that this measure is working, so we need to continue like this."

Dovizioso added that despite the restrictions he is "training harder than before. Normally, our schedule is tight. We have to train, but also find some time to rest to be ready for the race weekend. Now I can train as much as I want."

But his favourite form of training, motocross, is currently out of bounds, leaving him to quench his interest by watching AMA racing.

“I am trying to follow motocross as much as I can, also because in America they are allowed to continue their activities, so I can watch what they’re doing," he said. "For me, it is like a sort of time to recharge”.

 

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