“Marc did almost everything wrong,” was the weary, slightly exasperated smile from Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in the aftermath of the #ArgentinaGP, as last season’s runner up acknowledged the turbulent day key title rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had had at Termas de Rio Hondo in typical zen style: “He had one second margin in the rain and in the dry, so it was easy to manage the situation. I don’t know what happened, why he switched off the engine at the start…and then all these crazy things during the race started for him…”
Indeed. But the number 04 wouldn’t be drawn on the specifics of the incident between Marquez and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), nor the latter’s comments – instead offering an apt summary.
“It’s not easy to manage it but I don’t want to enter into the situation. I think they already had their…problems…”
That they did. So what of Dovizioso’s Sunday? After a difficult Friday, an improved Saturday gave way to a solid result to be leaving Termas de Rio Hondo with – sixth place and second in the Championship, just a few points down on new Championship leader Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol). That’s a positive – as is the opportunity to work on the now better-revealed weaknesses of the GP18.
“It depends which way you want to see the positive and negative things,” continues the Italian. “There are really positive things about the Championship because after a really difficult weekend for us, we’re going home with sixth and three of the Championship contenders took a 0. So that’s really positive. Then the other way round we have to be objective and we weren’t fast. That’s the negative. We confirmed our negative point on this kind of track and that’s bad because there are a lot of fast riders and when you’re not competitive you can lost too many points, but it’s good because we know where we have to improve. But the weekend is done, we have to think positive and we’ll have to see in Austin – another difficult track for us – what we can bring home.”
????️ #AD04: “It was a really difficult weekend for us, but in the end we managed to take home some good points on a day in which we weren’t quick enough to fight for the podium” pic.twitter.com/mfeUDzf90W— Ducati Motor (@DucatiMotor) 8 April 2018
So after getting through one venue that was costly for Dovizioso last year through no fault of his own, we now move onto another – the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Marquez turf? That’s been the case so far, but the form book is far from written in stone.
“Austin is a completely different track and it’s very difficult. We’ll have to see the conditions because last year there were a lot of bumps compared to the previous year. And also the tyres, because they affect the weekend a lot.”