Ducati has left Qatar with mixed feelings.
Gigi Dall’Igna, the General Director of Ducati Corse, celebrated Dovizioso’s stunning performance and battle with Maverick Vinales for the first victory of the 2017 season, but how could he explain to the Ducati’s A-rider Lorenzo’s 11th place? Hired for almost 25 million euro, Lorenzo finished 11th at 20.5 seconds from the winner Maverick Vinales. The comparison with Valentino Rossi was inevitable as the Doctor had finished 7th at 16 seconds back in 2011 when he was on the Ducati.
Dovizioso’s race was superb but still not enough for the first step of the podium… “I expected to fight for the podium and of course I gave everything to try and win the race, but I knew that Maverick had another pace” said the Italian. “Already in practice he had proven to be constantly fast. He was a hammer. I knew it was not an easy task to try and beat him. Honestly I didn’t have the pace to fight with him, none of us had it on Sunday”.
The Ducati was unbeatable on the straight. “To try and beat Vinales, it was crucial to pass him on the straight using all the power of the Desmosedici. Maverick studied me from behind for some laps and he finally passed me in the sectors I was struggling more. Once he build a gap, I was not able to catch him anymore” commented Dovizioso, second at Losail for the third time in a row.
If this happen on a circuit where the Ducati is favourite, what shall we expect next? “We are strong but we miss something”, said a lucid Dovizioso, “the target to win the title goes with the possibility to fight constantly at the top on every circuit”.
Andrea Dovizioso can be happy of how his season started, but on the other side of the garage, the situation was completely different. Jorge Lorenzo failed in his debut with the Italian Manufacturer, doing worse than Rossi in 2011. “It was a complicated race from all aspects”, said a disappointed Lorenzo. “I started off well, but on the opening lap I went wide and lost a lot of positions, and this conditioned me in my efforts to get back up. Then I felt better on the bike and I started to lap at the same pace as the leaders, but unfortunately in the final part of the race I started to lose confidence in the tyres and my bike became a lot more physical to ride, so I had to slow the pace and I was unable to finish in the top 10. I want to be positive about things however, even though my first race with Ducati didn’t go the way we expected. It’s true that we are just at the start, and we know we’ve got a lot of work to do.”