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Dovizioso: “We have some ideas to try tomorrow”

Borgo Panigale factory end Day 1 in P7 and P8 as Day 1 confirms COTA is a challenge

Both Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) have previously been on the podium at the Circuit of the Americas, but 2017 Championship runner up ‘DesmoDovi’ says that Day 1 at the track this year confirms it’s a more challenging venue for the Borgo Panigale factory. Nevertheless, both factory riders are in the top ten at the end of play and therefore have provisional entry to Q2.

Ride on board with Dovizioso at COTA

“It’s good to be in the top ten but apart from that, for sure, we can’t be too happy,” begins the man second in the standings, Dovizioso. “Our speed is not too good. We didn’t show a really good pace today but I think this afternoon we understood something, we have some ideas to try tomorrow or Sunday. For sure, this track is not the best for our bike and also I don’t think the tyre helped our situation but this is what it is and we have to find the best solution to be on the podium.”

The podium is still therefore the target. But as yet, it was teammate Lorenzo who was fastest Ducati on Friday, as the Mallorcan was fourth in the morning and then seventh overall after a mad dash to secure provisional entry to Q2 characterised FP2. With the weather set to change on Saturday, it was all on the table – and he was more upbeat.

“It was good for sure,” the five-time World Champion begins. “All the Ducatis are struggling a little bit here more than in the last years so it’s not the best start for us but apart from that, fourth in the morning, seventh in the afternoon after having Nakagami crash in front of me in the first sector…there I lost four or five tenths which would have probably given me fourth or fifth place but it was important to be in the top ten and enter Q2 because it looks like rain tomorrow and that’s why we put in two new tyres. Unfortunately as I said with the last one, I was behind Nakagami crashing and I had to be slower.”

So is that a step forward? After putting in the fastest ever lap of Sepang in the first test of the season, there have been some ups and downs for Lorenzo – but the ‘Spartan’ says Sunday is the key.

“Sometimes I feel good on the bike, sometimes not. I feel good physically, I work a lot. Let’s see what we can do on Sunday. That’s the important thing.”

Tomorrow, qualifying begins from 14:10 local time (GMT -5) – will it be wet and the pack shuffled once again?