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Dovizioso: “We have many chances to fight for the Championship”

Dovizioso: “We have many chances to fight for the Championship”

The Repsol rider states that this pre-season tests in Malaysia were one of the fastest he remembers.

Andrea Dovizioso faces the last 2011 pre-season Test in Qatar before the start of the World Championship confident of his chances in the fight for the Championship. Proud of the progress made by his 2011 Repsol Honda RC212V, the Italian foresees one of the most closely-fought MotoGP seasons of the last few years.

This weekend, the last pre-season Test before the first race of the World Championship will take place in Qatar. Where do you think will be your position in the battle for the Championship?

“I believe we can think about the Championship because we have many possibilities to get it. The situation now is that I am not as fast as Dani [Pedrosa] or Casey [Stoner], especially in setting fast laps, but also a little bit in race pace. We did both Tests in the same circuit, so we need to know what will be the level in another track and the difference with the other rivals. I really think that we have many chances to fight. We still have to improve in some areas and solve the problems with the front end, but I am confident we will be able to have a very good season. If we will be in the actual battle for the Championship, we still don’t know.”

The Repsol Honda Team has three riders with great potential, you are all going fast and you have a bike that is working very well up to now. It seems this Championship will be very fast, what do you think?

“I think this season will be faster and more closely-fought than in the last few years. The level of the Hondas and the Yamahas is very similar and there are six riders that use these two manufacturers that have chances to fight for victory in the races and the Championship. We also need to take Valentino into account, as everyone knows how strong he is. About us, having three riders together in the HRC official team is important and it also gives us a lot of motivation. I had never seen such fast pre-season Tests as the first and second sessions we had, where the riders improved their lap times a lot This means that they all want to be in front and is really motivating. It is also important because Honda will have the possibility to always be in the fight for the lead.”

Right now, what are the stronger features of the bike?

“Power, that is undoubtedly one of the strongest features. But it is also very strong under braking. Unfortunately, we still have some trouble with the stability of the rear, but the front end works very well. Traction is also good, so I believe the package is really competitive.”

Where do you think is the area that has to be improved?

“We need to solve the problem we found on the front end during the race simulation, because it's very important. We also have to work on the stability in the rear. There is sometimes some rebound and if we find the way to solve it, the bike will be perfect.”

What can you tell us about the clutch, engine braking and new suspension of the bike?

“I think the clutch is the cause of the lack of stability. I am not an engineer, but this is what I feel. We noticed a big improvement in engine braking the first day of the second Test in Malaysia, so I am happy with the engineers’ work. The 2011 suspension is very good, it offers better feedback to the riders and we are able to brake later. There are some vibrations in the front, but it doesn’t appear on the data - it seems it’s something only the riders feel - so it is not a big problem.”

Repsol Media Service press release

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team

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