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Ducati must "completely" focus on turning, not fighting Marquez

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Ducati must "completely" focus on turning, not fighting Marquez
By:
Jul 8, 2019, 1:21 PM

Ducati must forget about challenging Marc Marquez for this year's MotoGP title and focus "completely" on improving its long-standing turning weakness, says Andrea Dovizioso.

After finishing fourth in the Dutch TT at Assen, Dovizioso could manage no better than fifth in Sunday's German Grand Prix, behind factory teammate Danilo Petrucci.

Both works Ducati riders finished 16 seconds in arrears of runaway race winner Marc Marquez, who recorded his seventh consecutive MotoGP win at the Sachsenring and now finds himself 58 points clear of Dovizioso in the riders' standings.

The 2017 and '18 title runner-up believes the last two weekends have demonstrated that the Desmosedici is still not a rounded enough bike to challenge for victory everywhere - and that Ducati must now make a concerted effort to ameliorate its traditional Achilles' heel.

"The last two weekends have unfortunately shown the gap we have to our opponents," said Dovizioso. "There is not much to say; we are not as competitive as we would like.

"At this moment I still think what I thought four years ago: we are too slow in the middle of the corner.

"Fortunately we have improved in other areas, so we are still competitive, but now the others are raising the bar and we are still too far behind in turning.

"So, now more than ever, we need to sit down and make a strategy for the future. Working on turning is difficult and it's not our speciality, so it will probably take time, but now I think we must focus completely on this aspect.

"It's something that has been considered, but it's never been a priority. Now it's clear even for those who didn't see it that way, that we have to push in this area."

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Petrucci, who remains third in the championship, added: "It's very worrying that both here and at Assen, we lost half a second per lap to the winner.

"We are not happy at all - me, Andrea and Jack [Miller, who finished sixth on the Pramac Ducati] all tried our best and did everything possible. We've probably reached the limit of our bike."

While optimistic that Ducati will have an easier time at Brno and the Red Bull Ring after the summer break, Dovizioso says he is not focussed on trying to chip away at Marquez's points lead.

"On the next tracks I will be more competitive, but it's not enough to even start thinking about fighting Marc," he admitted. "It's not a question of how to recover points, because we are not fighting against him.

"Right now we are fighting ourselves, because we are not close enough to try and beat him."

Additional reporting by David Gruz

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

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