Dovi takes home the Championship lead from Texas

Italian recovers from P13 on the grid to P4 in the race as he capitalises on a Marquez DNF

It looked unlikely after qualifying on Saturday but Mission Winnow Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso leaves the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas as the World Championship leader.

A fantastic recovery ride from P13 on the start line to P4 at the finish line was a fine day at the office for Dovi, who was able to leapfrog Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) after the reigning World Champion crashed out of the lead.

“Yes I’m happy because yesterday…to start P13 is a big problem,” said Dovizioso. “But I did a perfect start, I did the exact strategy that I had in my mind and it’s nice to feel that, and I put myself in a perfect position. But unfortunately I didn’t have the speed at the beginning to stay with the first group and that is the bad part. I lose the confidence, I almost crash at Turn 10 but I realise there was a wet patch in the middle of the track. I think that wet patch came out from under the asphalt, where they made the new asphalt, when I realise that I changed the line and my bike worked a bit better. I was so slow in the fast corners, that’s why I didn’t keep that speed, and that’s why I didn’t have the ability to get the podium unfortunately.”

Nevertheless, a fourth place when Championship protagonists are scoring no points is always a good result. And Dovi knows how important gaining a good haul of points on a track that hasn’t suited the Ducati in the past is vital, especially now the European leg of the season is about to kick off.

“But we have to be happy about the fourth,” continued ‘DesmoDovi’. “Marc and Cal lost a lot of points and that for the Championship is really important. And I’m happy to be going to Jerez like this. I’m first in the Championship but not for that because we are very close, it’s more about the feeling I have with the bike. I think apart from the 13th position on the grid we show a better speed from last year, and I think in Jerez we can be competitive. The negative part is there are more competitive riders compared to last year. Apart from Marc, Rins and Valentino are really strong and they can really fight for the Championship.”

Dovizioso was up to sixth on the first lap after what he described as the “perfect start”. Did the holeshot device help? “It helped me, yes. I’m happy. For sure it helped me.”

Well, hopefully the Italian can use it to good effect from further up the grid in Jerez. He’ll be wanting to rectify the unlucky DNF he suffered in Andalusia last season when the MotoGP™ paddock visits Spain at the start of May. Three points is his advantage in the overall standings...

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