Late-race tyre wear issue holding Ducati back in MotoGP - Dovizioso
|By Jamie Klein, Mark Bremer||Wednesday, July 4th 2018, 08:45 GMT|
Andrea Dovizioso says Ducati's current biggest issue in MotoGP is maintaining tyre life, as he was "completely f**ked" at the end of last weekend's Dutch TT.
Tyre preservation was a key reason why Dovizioso came close to taking the title last season, but it has become a problem for Ducati in 2018.
Dovizioso, who has not won a race since the Qatar season opener, finished fourth in Assen but was unable to keep up with race winner Marc Marquez in the latter stages due to rear tyre drop-off.
"We lost in the last eight laps, I didn't have any more traction," said Dovizioso.
"That is the reason why I couldn't stay with Marc and I couldn't fight for the podium - that is the negative point of the weekend.
"I am happy about the fourth position because the last eight laps I was struggling a lot, I didn't have any more speed.
"I took fourth because I put myself in the right position in the right moment, not because at the end we were fast.
"I am happy in the way I rode the bike in the race but we have to try to improve the way to manage the rear tyre a little bit.
"The difference from last year is when you lose the grip at the end of the race, we are completely fucked.
"Last year we had a possibility to manage consumption and be fast at the end of the race. This year, with this tyre, no."
Dovizioso has moved up to fifth in the standings thanks to his Assen fourth place, but is now 61 points behind standings leader Marquez.
He claimed that winning the title is "not impossible", but warned that Ducati must improve tyre management before it can set such goals.
"If you look at the championship, if you look at this race, if you want to be objective - [it] is very difficult [to beat Marquez] but it is not impossible," he said.
"But in this moment I am not focused on that and I will not race to try to create some strange situation.
"We have to improve our negative point and at the end of the race, we are still not strong enough.
"That is the point and we have to be focused on that. When we'll be better on that, we can think about different things.
"If you are not okay in every area, you can't really fight with Marc when he has a lot of points."