The United States Grand Prix will be a challenge for Andrea Dovizioso with the Ducati rider admitting after qualifying that he has no answer for the pace of the riders in front of him on the grid.
The Italian said that while the speed of the Ducati is good on its initial laps once a new tyre uses up its initial energy and grip there is little that he can do to compensate for that and maintain a fast lap time. This has been a constant problem for Ducati and shows no signs of abating.
Speaking after qualifying eighth Dovizioso said:
“I am not 100% happy with my laptime because it wasn’t perfect, I could make a few tenths better,” commented the former 125cc world champion. “It is a peculiar weekend because at the beginning we looked like we had a chance to be closer but if I check the pace of everybody in front of me they are all 22.0 or lower and for me it’s impossible to do that. I can do a low 22 on new tyres but can’t keep doing that pace so it will be hard tomorrow to gain positions.”
Tomorrow’s race is one of the most physically demanding on the calendar for both bike and rider and the start will play a key role but Dovizioso knows that he faces an uphill task during the 32 lap race:
“The start is very tight and I will try to gain some positions but all the riders in front of me can do 1’21s. I can do a good laptime but only when the tyre is new but when the energy is used I can’t keep high speeds in the corners.”