Rain forecasts hampering Dovizioso's Motegi victory bid

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso says he needs more dry running at Motegi to mount a Japanese Grand Prix victory challenge, with forecasts of rain throwing a potential spanner in the works.

Rain forecasts hampering Dovizioso's Motegi victory bid

While both of Friday’s practice sessions took place in normal conditions, rain is expected to influence Saturday track action – whereas a return to dry running is then predicted for Sunday.

Dovizioso was the top Ducati in fourth, albeit over six tenths off Petronas Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo’s pace, in the combined classification on Friday, meaning that he is due to secure an automatic spot in Q2.

However, with the Italian keen on putting in more set-up work, his hopes for a dry race may now rest on the short Sunday warm-up session.

“In the afternoon unfortunately we couldn't work because the temperature dropped and the rear tyre didn't work, for everybody. The same tyre as the morning [medium rear] didn't work, we wanted to try the hard and it was even worse.

“[That’s] bad because we couldn't work, but the speed is there, we are in the [lead] group. Unfortunately, now most of the races we are a big group from the beginning with a good speed. I'm there but there are a lot of riders with a good speed.

“I think we have margin with the set-up, we didn't have time to try what we want. I hope to have a dry session, some dry sessions, to try what we believe, because we need that to really fight for the victory.”

Read Also:

Dovizioso’s factory teammate Danilo Petrucci was two tenths down on his compatriot in eighth, but was encouraged by the showing in light of his recent run of poor form.

“I could have done a little better in the last time attack, I made a couple of mistakes, but I think I'm competitive,” he said. “There are other riders at my level but I'm better than the recent times.

“I had a good feeling this morning. I don't know what the weather will be like, but I'm not afraid of the rain because we're already fine in the dry. Today I am positive and I haven't been positive for a long time.”

Ducati has been a potent force at Motegi in recent years, and Dovizioso says the layout is “a bit more in our side” compared to the preceding Thailand GP’s venue Buriram.

“The bike behaves well, we are competitive but we are not the only ones,” Petrucci added. “All four Yamaha bikes are fast and all Ducati bikes are fast. Then there's always Marquez.

“It's a stop-and-go track but there's no bike to dominate.”

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

shares
comments
Suzuki's 2020 engine makes "encouraging" practice debut

Previous article

Suzuki's 2020 engine makes "encouraging" practice debut

Next article

Rossi shelves Yamaha updates at Motegi

Rossi shelves Yamaha updates at Motegi
Load comments
Why Suzuki desperately needs to find Brivio's MotoGP replacement Prime

Why Suzuki desperately needs to find Brivio's MotoGP replacement

OPINION: While Shinichi Sahara insists that Suzuki does not need a team manager following the departure of Davide Brivio, the team's performance in the early part of the 2021 MotoGP season and the sentiment of the staff suggests the opposite

MotoGP
Aug 3, 2021
How KTM has ended up with an embarrassment of MotoGP riches Prime

How KTM has ended up with an embarrassment of MotoGP riches

Forming a ladder all the way from Red Bull Rookies Cup to MotoGP, KTM has created a steady stream of top talents in grand prix racing delivering the Austrian marque with the success expected of the brand. Here's how it has gone about it.

MotoGP
Jul 28, 2021
Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant Prime

Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant

Danilo Petrucci’s days in MotoGP appear numbered, as KTM looks to completely reshuffle the Tech3 team for 2022. Though the Italian's 2021 season so far hasn’t been standout, the giant Italian covertly became a top runner in MotoGP across the last decade and brought with him a personality that world sport sorely needs more of

MotoGP
Jul 22, 2021
Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet Prime

Why Mir's MotoGP title defence can't be written off yet

Joan Mir’s defence of his MotoGP title has had an underwhelming start as Suzuki didn’t progress its championship-winning GSX-RR as much as its rivals did with their bikes over the winter. Speaking to Motorsport.com, Mir lays out why his title defence has been stalled so far and why he’s confident title number two is still within reach

MotoGP
Jul 12, 2021
How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed Prime

How Quartararo became the MotoGP leader Yamaha needed

It's been six years since Jorge Lorenzo gave Yamaha its last MotoGP title in 2015. Since his departure at the end of 2016, Yamaha's form has been inconsistent but it has at last found a new talisman to return it to the top spot in the form of a precociously talented Frenchman who currently leads the standings.

MotoGP
Jul 6, 2021
Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties Prime

Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties

On Monday, Yamaha announced it will part ways with Maverick Vinales at the end of the 2021 season - a move requested by the rider. As the already strained relationship between both parties in MotoGP hit rock bottom in recent weeks, this divorce - as Oriol Puigdemont writes - is good for both Yamaha and Vinales for a number of reasons

MotoGP
Jun 28, 2021
The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption Prime

The unexpected Rossi/Ducati MotoGP sequel offering redemption

A decade after first linking up with Ducati in what turned out to be an ill-fated period in his MotoGP career, Valentino Rossi has joined forces with the Italian marque once more - this time as a team owner. And the VR46/Ducati tie-up beginning in 2022 has the potential to right the wrongs of Rossi and Ducati's nadir of 2011/2012.

MotoGP
Jun 24, 2021
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Prime

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

MotoGP
Jun 22, 2021