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Dovizioso: "I go back home happy to have been among the fastest"

Dovizioso: 'I go back home happy to have been among the fastest'

Andrea Dovizioso spoke about his satisfaction with his performance after the Sepang Test.

The first Test of the season in Malaysia ended on a positive note for Andrea Dovizioso. His times on the 2011 RC212V placed him amongst the fastest on the timesheet in Malaysia, producing results that confirmed the Repsol Honda rider’s excellent start to the pre-season.

What conclusions have you drawn from this first Test in Sepang?

“I am very happy. We are two-tenths behind the fastest, which is not a great difference, so I am satisfied with the job we have done. During the Test our level was high and the important thing for us is to start among the best. It is very positive to see that we set the second or third fastest time. I am really pleased with the bike’s performance, it is really fast and very manoeuvrable at all times. I go back home in high spirits and at ease because we are very close to the fastest riders. We are one of them. It only depends on the work of the team to find those little things we need to improve in the next test in Malaysia.”

What are your feelings about this year’s Honda RC212V?

“In these three days we learnt many things about the bike. We improved the traction control, the behaviour of the bike in the corners. The only thing to improve is the braking stability. I am not talking about the front wheel, where I think we have taken a good step forward, but about the instability we have on the rear wheel. We have some chattering in the rear wheel when we enter some corners. If we are able to work it out, we will be even faster. It’s positive feedback, because we have some margin to solve it, but in the time we have been working on it we could not solve it completely, although we managed to make some progress.”

That chattering on the rear wheel appears only when you push to the limit?

“It depends on the corner because there are some, such as Turn 7, where there is no need to reduce the pace, so we don't use the clutch and then the chattering is stronger. When you need to drop down two or three gears, you play with the spin of the wheels and it is difficult for the chattering to appear. It sometimes happens and sometimes doesn't and then the entry to the corner is a little easier. But if we are able to solve the problem for Turn 7, it will work in all corners, and that would be an important result.”

Dani and Casey have the same problem?

“Everyone in Honda has the same problem. It has more or less influence depending on the clutch you use and how much traction control you use, because it depends on your style and the way you work with the clutch. It is a problem with the bike and depending on the riding style it is better or worse. For instance, I have seen some riders with Yamaha or Ducati that don't use the clutch so they have no problem and that is why the difference is important.”

What is the priority you would set for your engineers?

“As I said before, it would be the chattering on the rear wheel. We need to know if it is only linked to the clutch or if the electronics have any influence. The level of the bike is really high and this is the only area we need to improve. Anyway, I am very pleased with the bike. The level is very high, some riders are really very fast, but we are only two-tenths away from the fastest, so we need to think about how we can improve. For instance, I think Dani is two or three-tenths quicker and he did a series of consecutive laps at a consistent pace of 2’01.4 or 2’01.5, a really fast effort. We are only two or three-tenths behind but, after only this first Test, it is not a great problem if we improve it for the following Tests.”

You were strong across the three days. Have you got any doubts about the bike’s competitiveness?

“I was pretty strong, more than in other tracks, and always one or two-tenths behind the first. That is why I feel optimistic. The bike is very competitive. Above all, and in comparison to previous years, you can see there are many Honda rider at the front and that confirms the bike is competitive.”

Press release courtesy of Repsol Media Service

MotoGP, 2011, Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team

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