Dovizioso: Nice to compare race simulation with Quartararo

Andrea Dovizioso makes braking gains on the RNF Yamaha at Mandalika, race simulation helps highlight where further improvements are needed.
Andrea Dovizioso, Indonesia MotoGP test, 12 February 2022
Andrea Dovizioso, Indonesia MotoGP test, 12 February 2022
© Gold and Goose

The final day of MotoGP pre-season testing in Mandalika gave RNF Yamaha's Andrea Dovizioso the chance to directly compare a race simulation with reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo, of the factory Yamaha team.

On average, Dovizioso was around 0.8s per lap slower than the Frenchman, whose pace varied between 1m 32.8s-34.2s on his long run, with Dovizioso in the 1m 33.6s-34.5s range.

While the final lap was identical for both, a 1m 33.9, Quartararo's speed at the start of the long run was an area of obvious difference, being 1.2s faster than Dovizioso on lap 2 alone.

“Regarding my pace for the race I’m not very satisfied, but it was very important to do the long run, where you always realise a lot of things," Dovizioso said.

"It was really nice to compare my long run with Fabio in the same tyres. At the beginning, he was very fast, so it will be incredibly important for me for Qatar to continue to adapt to the bike.

"Overall, it’s not enough yet, but we improved in these three days, which have been much better than Malaysia and I’m happy about that.

"We changed the set up. We tried the fairing. We tried different things. My feeling was a bit better. My adapting was a bit better in some areas, in others still not. So the final result is not what I want, because I want to be more in front, but the work we did was nice."

A significant improvement had been in braking, one of the places where Dovizioso believes Quartararo gains time relative to the other Yamahas.

"About the braking zone, I am much better. In this moment, in some areas, I’m braking even better than Fabio and Fabio is braking really good. So I’m really happy to find that way to brake. This is very positive," Dovizioso said.

"This track is strange as you have to stay for a long time with lean angle, so my weak point becomes a bit bigger. But we did an improvement. Because now in the braking, I am feeling good and I’m braking good.

"But I was losing too much in some other areas. That’s where I have to be better and it can help me a lot to be closer and manage the tyre in a better way."

The 35-year-old Italian, who has raced or tested Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and Aprilia MotoGP machinery during his career, also commented on the M1 being labelled as an 'easy bike'.

"Easy to ride the bike is one story, to be fast is a different story," he said. "Some years ago the situation was different and everyone with the Yamaha was quite competitive.

"Maybe it's easier than some other bikes to ride, yes. But in the end you also have to consider the speed you have. Because in the race if you are pushing and you are slow, this bike is not that easy."

Dovizioso finished the test in 19th place, 0.8s from the best time by Honda's Pol Espargaro and Quartararo. 

Quartararo's team-mate Franco Morbidelli set the fifth fastest lap time, with Dovizioso's rookie team-mate Darryn Binder 24th on the A-Spec bike.

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