Dovizioso: “The grip dropped too much”

Mixed emotions for the Italian despite a P3 finish in Termas after his tyre choice didn’t work out as planned on Sunday

Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) takes a third place finish away from the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina after a race-long battle with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), but the Qatar GP race winner isn’t 100% happy despite the podium being his goal ahead of the weekend’s action.

Dovizioso ran a soft rear Michelin tyre compound for the race, but it didn’t work how he expected it to as he couldn’t gap Rossi throughout the Grand Prix, with the latter getting the better of him on the final lap.

“I’m not so happy with how my tyre worked during the race because my speed wasn’t good enough,” began Dovizioso. “I couldn’t make a gap to Valentino and that is the bad thing. Yes, he has a different tyre but I don’t know if the medium can be better.

“Apart from that, it will be important to study the race. It’s good to have a podium, not too happy about the result but be able to make a lot of points and study importantly for the future because I think the race can show us something to improve. The grip dropped too much and it’s strange because I didn’t push during the race so that’s why I’m not too happy.”

Dovizioso was at the forefront of a fierce battle for second position and as the Italian explains, fighting and overtaking with a lot of riders around Termas de Rio Hondo is tricky: “Especially in Argentina it’s better to not fight with a lot of riders because the battle is not easy because the grip is very low. Every time you overtake a rider it’s easy to make a mistake and it’s easy to lose some time.

“When he (Rossi) overtook me I was really scared to crash because in that part of the track the grip was zero,” admitted the Ducati rider, who didn’t want to fight back too hard and risk losing a valuable 16 points. “I didn’t make a crazy move to lose 16 points on the last lap, it wasn’t a good idea.”

The Circuit of the Americas now awaits Dovizioso as he heads to a Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) hunting ground four points off the Honda man in the Championship. But what is the target on a track that, like Termas, hasn’t suited the Ducati in the past?

“For sure in Austin it will be very difficult to make a podium and this is the target like here in Argentina. To make another podium there is like a victory so we are focused on that and we want to do that and be closer than we were today.” 

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