Du­cati star takes sec­ond suc­ces­sive win as se­ries leader strug­gles

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Si­mon Patterson MO­TOGP RE­PORTER

An­drea Dovizioso stunned not only the Mo­togp pad­dock but him­self as well af­ter tak­ing a stun­ning race vic­tory in the Cata­lan Grand Prix in Barcelona only one week af­ter win­ning his home race at Mugello.

The Du­cati rider gave his ri­vals a tac­ti­cal master­class at the Span­ish cir­cuit and was com­pletely unas­sail­able in the fi­nal laps of the race. He let the Rep­sol Honda duo of Marc Mar­quez and Dani Pe­drosa, who joined him on the podium, do the hard work for the early stages of a race run in tricky con­di­tions, be­fore strik­ing when the time was right to pull away and se­cure the vic­tory.

Yet, de­spite dou­bling his to­tal tally of premier class wins in only one week, the 31-year-old ad­mit­ted on Sun­day evening at the end of an in­cred­i­ble few days for him that he was stunned to see suc­cess come his way twice on the bounce de­spite go­ing into the race with a de­lib­er­ate strat­egy.

He said: “Be­fore Mugello, no-one ex­pected this re­sult. Mugello was some­thing spe­cial, but to come to Barcelona and win again is spe­cial too. We re­alised that the con­di­tion of the track wasn’t so good and that it would use up the rear tyre, and that we didn’t need to fo­cus on the speed. We weren’t the fastest, but we fo­cused on rid­ing the bike on a used tyre in high heat.

“No-one had grip and no-one could push be­cause they needed to save the tyre, so we ended up in a very good po­si­tion. I ended up be­hind Dani and he was also in a good po­si­tion, but I was able to save the front tyre bet­ter be­cause my ac­cel­er­a­tion was bet­ter and I don’t brake as hard. I was re­laxed and I was fo­cused.”

How­ever, de­spite the stun­ning run of form of late, he was quick to re­it­er­ate what he said last week­end in Mugello about the title bat­tle – that he’s try­ing hard to not con­cen­trate on the fight for the championship and ad­mit­ting that the GP17 ma­chine isn’t yet ready to chal­lenge for it.

“Think­ing about the championship ev­ery week­end is im­pos­si­ble. Ev­ery week­end this year has gone a dif­fer­ent way, and no-one can pre­dict it. I don’t have any pres­sure for the title, I don’t want to think about it. Mugello was a great week­end for us, but Barcelona was a very strange week­end and we were able to work in the right way to win.

“We still need to im­prove in a few ar­eas. The turn­ing prob­lem is the same as four races ago. I don’t want to speak in a nega­tive way, but I am re­al­is­tic. It’s my fifth year with the bike, and I know what’s changed and how the en­gi­neers work, and if we want to fight for the championship we still have to im­prove. I’m not too ex­cited now and I don’t think we can fight for the title yet, but if you ap­proach the right week­end in the right way, you can win.”

‘We weren’t the fastest, but we fo­cused on rid­ing on a used tyre’ AN­DREA DOVIZIOSO

Two wins in a row but Dovi isn’t get­ting car­ried away about the title

Dovi was the man with the plan in the roast­ing heat of Barcelona

Dovi let the Hon­das do the hard work and then pounced

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