Ducati can no longer depend on its strong tracks - Dovizioso
There is no longer such a thing as a ‘Ducati track’ in MotoGP and that means another victory in Austria can’t be taken for granted, believes Andrea Dovizioso.
Ducati has won at the Red Bull Ring both times since it was reintroduced to the calendar in 2016, with Andrea Iannone narrowly beating Dovizioso to the win that year before the latter famously overcame Marc Marquez in a thrilling last-lap duel the following season.
The stop-start nature of the Austrian Grand Prix venue has traditionally made it one of the strongest for Ducati, along with other tracks featuring long straights and slow corners like Qatar, Motegi and Sepang.
However, Dovizioso believes that this year’s championship “is completely different” to the last two years and that Ducati’s usual advantage at these tracks can no longer be assumed.
“Two years ago when we [first] arrived in Austria, we won by a small margin, but we had a big advantage,” he said. “And then we did the same last year.
“Now we are faster, because we are competitive on almost all tracks, even the ones that have never been suited to Ducati, but we no longer have a lot of power on certain tracks for several reasons.
“The first is that the tyres are different and we are not yet at 100 percent from this point of view, or rather they are not the best tyres for us.
“The second is that there are different rivals who have put themselves in a better position than last year, so it’s a real group. For this reason we don’t go to Austria certain we will win.”
Pramac Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci says he feels there is no longer such a thing as a track that’s suited to a specific manufacturer, because tyres now play such a big role in determining competitiveness.
“We don’t have any more Honda tracks or Ducati tracks or Yamaha tracks,” he said. “It depends on the balance between the tyres, temperature, track, because now the situation changes every race.
“[Every race] is a different one, I don’t think there is a track where a [particular] manufacturer is leading.”
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