A rain shower before the start of Friday afternoon MotoGP practice at the Red Bull Ring meant riders spent much of the session sat in the pits waiting for the track to dry.

During that time, Andrea Dovizioso was filmed looking up at the TV monitors just as he saw the following tweet from Dorna being displayed on the live broadcast:

Dovizioso laughed as he read it, looking over at team manager Davide Tardozzi, who was watching the same screens but remained poker-faced behind his PPE mask.

"About the tweet I was laughing because it looks like Tardozzi is the person who will decide my future but it’s not like that," said Dovizioso," whose drawn-out contract negotiations are thought to have stalled after being presented with a sizeable pay cut.

"It was funny because we always fight… Laughing together at many things because his character is very strange, it’s very crazy, but it was funny. Tardozzi was in the middle of everything but he is not the guy who will take that decision."

Dovizioso's good mood was probably helped by his best Friday performance of the season so far, finishing second to KTM's Pol Espargaro by just 0.044s in the dry morning session.

"I think the track helped us to be a bit faster because it’s good for our bike," said Dovizioso, who memorably passed Marc Marquez for victory at the final corner one year ago.

"But yesterday I explained we studied a lot after Brno. We changed small things in the set-up, especially my way to brake had to change. That helped me come back to a good feeling in the braking. I’m happy to feel that.

"If you’re too aggressive on the braking you can create problems – front lock, slide on rear – and the tyres are already on the limit.

"Then secondary things go wrong and it’s very, very difficult. This is what happened in Brno. But it’s always related to the change in the rear tyre. If we had the tyres from last year it wouldn’t happen. 

"This track also helped me here because it’s straight braking more or less everywhere. I was able to be consistent as well as having good speed.

"For sure I have a big chance to be a [victory] contender. At the moment after one practice we are four with a good pace, but one practice is nothing. If we have one other dry session things can change and some other riders can fight with us for sure.

"In this track, our competitors have become a bit stronger with acceleration compared to the past. I think the race won’t be any more just two or three riders like in the past.

"But anyway I’m there. We have our chance, our card."

Dovizioso is currently 28-points behind Petronas Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo, with just one podium from the opening three rounds.

Team-mate Danilo Petrucci was twelfth fastest on Friday.

 

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