Andrea Dovizioso’s (Ducati Team) future is a particular topic of interest across the MotoGP™ community at the minute. As the Italian recovers from a left collarbone injury and subsequent surgery ahead of the opening round of the season, there’s still plenty of speculation about who he’ll be riding for in 2021.
And speaking to DAZN journalists Ernest Riveras and Izaskun Ruiz on the Cambia el mapa MotoGP™ Podcast, Dovizioso’s manager Simone Battistella shed some light on the number 04’s situation.
Paolo Ciabatti gives update on Dovizioso's condition
Is Dovizioso going to start in Jerez knowing what his team will be for next year?
No, because at the moment we do not have a negotiation with Ducati yet. We are defining an agreement for 2021. Ducati prefers to wait a few races before starting the negotiation with Dovizioso, so we will probably have to wait until Austria to speak with Ducati.
Is that okay with you or would you prefer to sign now?
The decision is Ducati's, for Andrea it is good to wait, it is not a problem. We have offered Ducati availability to speak during these weeks but they have preferred to wait and for us there is no problem. I hope this does not generate tension from the moment that we have to go out on the track because it is a Championship in which we all must perform to the maximum. I hope that this waiting compass does not cause tension during the month of August, which will be a fundamental month. Especially for Ducati and Dovizioso, the races in Brno and Austria are essential.
Are you talking about a tension similar to what happened last year? Was the tension too much?
Yes, in some moments yes. Thanks to the documentary 'Undaunted' everyone could see that tension. The tension was extendable to the entire team. When things get tough, there is tension. There were moments after the Assen or Sachsenring races, where the performance was not good, in which there was that tension, but I imagine that is in any box, when the results do not come there is tension. I imagine that at the beginning of last year at Yamaha there was also a lot of tension. It is not a unique situation, it happens in all the boxes and everyone can see it in the documentary.
My best race: Dovizioso at Misano in 2018
Whether Dovizioso will continue at Ducati depends exclusively on the financial agreement?
It is not necessarily cheap. It is clear that there must be an understanding from a financial point of view, but you have to make sure that both want the same thing and that is important. If there are any doubts, it is better not to.
What did you think when you heard that the relationship between 'Dovi' and Dall'Igna was not good?
It is true that there has been tension between Andrea and Gigi, but, as I have said before, there is always tension, more or less. When you win, it's easy for everyone to be happy, but when there are difficulties, tensions arise. But those tensions do not necessarily mean negativity, because in reality both have the same objective and from the tension positive things are also born and I think that the results are good in the end. Ducati and Dovizioso have been the only ones who have competed with HRC and Marquez in the Championship, who have imposed a monstrous level of performance on the rest. The only alternative to Marquez until today has been Ducati and Dovizioso and that has also been the result of tension.
You said you want to make sure that Ducati and Dovizioso want the same thing. What does 'Dovi' want?
The rider always wants a better bike to win, a constant evolution on all technical aspects. The rider always wants more. Of course, Andrea wants the bike to go better, especially in certain situations in which the circuits do not adapt to the characteristics of the bike. I think it is a normal aspect, which always happens, but I also think that the rider should improve his way of interpreting the bike. It is a bit of criticism I make regarding Andrea and the other riders, who see the problem only on the bike and it is not. With Andrea I have seen how much the rider can improve the performance of the bike.
Andrea Dovizioso: Undaunted – a Red Bull MotoGP™ film
One of the things that I have noticed in recent years in MotoGP is that the Marquez-Honda pairing has managed to create a harmony with the rider that no one else has. I do not know if it is all Marquez' merit or how much Honda has been able to interpret the rider, I do not know who has done the best job between the rider and the team, but that combination has shown everyone a different style: the bike must support the characteristics of the rider and rider must be able to interpret the bike in the best way. Others should seek that. There is no longer the concept of the manufacturer who wants to make the bike good, the best of all, or the rider who is the fastest of all. They are too simple concepts.
Has there been a KTM offer?
Yes. We spoke with KTM, but we quickly understood that the conditions for working together were not in place. It was very fast, but in very good faith on both sides.
What are THOSE buttons on Dovizioso and Petrucci's bikes?
If not Ducati, what options are left for Dovizioso?
Dovizioso wants an interesting program and the right conditions to be able to work in. If not, he will not accept the offer. If he doesn’t receive an interesting offer, he will wait for one to arrive.
Can this translate into having no team for next year?
Is it an option that you value?
In other words, he wants to continue in certain conditions and, if not, he prefers not to continue. Is that so?
There had always been talk that it could be Andrea's last contract, right?
The countdown has started
Andrea is not considering withdrawal. He feels strong and he feels good. Probably, apart from the motocross incident, he is in the best shape physically and mentally, so he is not thinking about retreat. It is true that if you do not have an interesting project you are not interested in participating. So until an interesting project comes along, he will wait. That would not mean a withdrawal, but simply that he would not have a team to run with.
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