Dovizioso: "I've studied Yamaha since joining MotoGP™"
Andrea Dovizioso spoke with motogp.com about the new adventure he will take on in 2012 with the Tech 3 Yamaha team and how he is preparing for it following his recent collarbone injury. The former Honda rider also shared his view of his final year with the manufacturer, in which he placed third in the MotoGP Championship.
How do you feel after your recent surgery -"like new" as you mentioned on twitter?
"After the crash, there was a lot of pain. Fortunately, for many years I didn’t have any big crashes and the operation went well. It was painful afterwards but if you want to be a rider, this is normal. Now I’m just looking forward to the next test in Malaysia."
How can it affect your adaptation to the Yamaha?
"I can’t know at the moment what my situation will be at the test in Malaysia, because 23 days after surgery is not a lot. At the moment, they did a good job on the operation and I’m really confident I can be prepared for the test, but the first test in Malaysia--a part of my problem always is it’s always difficult because after 3 months without being on a bike, I am in the worst position because the Malaysia circuit is really hard, and with the humidity and high temperatures, it makes it difficult. I think and hope I will be OK to understand the bike. Maybe at the second test I will be at 100 percent so I can better understand my level."
Each year, a few riders pick-up motocross/off-road training injuries during the winter - however most riders agree on the fact that it's a crucial type of training. Can you explain us what it brings you in terms of fitness and "riding" sensations?
"Motocross is really far from and very different than MotoGP, but it’s the only way to train on a bike (during the winter). I am passionate about motocross plus it’s important for me to train. Every time I ride motocross it’s like training, it’s not just to make some laps and have fun with friends. For me it’s important for two reasons: For training, and because I am passionate about it."
Did you pay particular attention to the Yamaha riders, the way they ride and the way the bike behaves in the last few GPs of 2011?
"It’s not only been the last few races that I have tried to understand the Yamaha bike. You always study the other bikes, especially when you are on a factory team. I studied Yamaha since the first year I was in MotoGP. But until you try a bike, you can’t understand all the positive points and especially all the negative points of a bike. You can understand something - but not everything."
How's your relationship with Cal Crutchlow? After a few seasons in MotoGP ‘on your own’ at Honda, do you look forward being able to ‘share’ with a team-mate or will he be your first rival?
"I’m happy to be a team-mate with Cal, he is a good guy and I think he is a really good rider. He didn’t have much experience in the world championships like Superbike and Supersport and especially MotoGP, but he is here, so that means he is talented. I think nobody knows exactly what Cal’s limits of are, because he has only been in MotoGP one year and had some crashes, but I think he can be really competitive. I don’t know how much, but I’m really happy to work with him and to develop the bike together."
After spending all your GP career on Honda (minus a first wild-card GP on Aprilia), how was it to part ways with Honda at the end of 2011?
"I think my results were really good, especially in 2011, but of course it’s not enough. From the outside, it’s different to understand the level we are at now…but no one can be 100 percent happy with 3rd position because it isn’t first. But for anyone who understands the level of racing there is now, to place 3rd is very difficult so for that I’m happy about the result, sure my target is higher, but I think third in the Championship and especially to place third in the last race with Dani, for me that was really important."
As a professional racer and father of a 2-year old, does the fact of seeing your daughter grow up and looking after her give you a different perspective on racing?
"Since my daughter was born, my mindset has changed a lot. The last two years I’ve had my best results, and everything became nicer for me after she was born because she is something special. I’m really happy to be a father, I’m really young but I think it has helped my results. Maybe for me (parenthood) has been better than for others because I’m still so young that I’m not thinking ‘I’m old now and have to focus on my family,’ and maybe this is why (becoming a father) has only helped."
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