Despite only testing a new chassis on Tuesday, Andrea Dovizioso is “really happy” Ducati is “really focussed” on improving the Desmosedici’s notorious turning issues.
At the end of most campaigns comes hope. For Andrea Dovizioso a new chassis tested throughout Tuesday offered up plenty of that, with the Italian stating the component is a “different step [forward] than the past.”
Back in July the Italian made an impassioned plea to factory bosses to address the Desmosedici’s age old turning issues that limited him to average finishes at turn-heavy tracks Assen and the Sachsenring.
And while he didn’t try the chassis at Valencia on Wednesday, preferring instead to compare his initial impressions to what he experiences at the Jerez test next week, Dovizioso declared himself “really happy” with the factory’s focus.
“Today we tried a few things,” he said on Wednesday afternoon. “We have to finalise something. The biggest thing we tried yesterday so today it was important to spend the time we had on some other material.
“We have to decide the bike for next year. [It was] Nothing special. The lap time wasn’t special for us. But it wasn’t the important thing of today.
“The lap time wasn’t good but most of the time we don’t have to consider that, especially the test at the end of the season. But today we didn’t really make the same plan as yesterday.
“We already tried yesterday and we preferred today to make the comparison [with the new bike/chassis] in Jerez because that will be more important than here.
“I hope to find good conditions there because it will be very important and then after there is a break to decide on next year.
“I think the chassis the brought here was a big effort from Ducati. I’m pretty happy about that. I think that was a different step than the past. That is very important for us.”
Did his findings on Tuesday bring him any relief? “Yeah,” he said. “I mean, it’s a long time I’ve been asking for that. I’m pretty happy to feel that. I’m really happy in the way they are working now. They are really focussed on that.”
Explaining his approach to Wednesday’s testing programme further, the Italian continued: “Yesterday we had to compare the chassis and important things. Not today. Today we did small things.
“But small things are important, especially when you are in a factory team because you have to decide a lot of things on the bike – not just big things like chassis. You have to spend a lot of time comparing things, decide if it’s good for next year or not.
“Unfortunately this doesn’t give you the possibility to be fast during the day because you have to use the tyre to understand in the best way what you tried. But this is the part of the job of [being in] the factory team.”
Team-mate Danilo Petrucci didn’t take to the track on Wednesday due to a right shoulder injury, exacerbated by a fall in Sunday’s race. Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller took over testing duties for the 2020 bike.
Does Dovizioso value Miller’s testing input? “For sure when you have a talent in your crew it’s always better for Ducati, in this case. His style is a bit different than mine. But he did a really fast race here, so the feedback can give us for developing is really good for us.”
On the news that Johann Zarco could possibly sign for Avintia Ducati for the 2020 season, he added, “It’s always good to have a talent on the same bike. Always good and I like that. And especially Johann used three bikes in the past two years. This is just positive. I’m happy.”