Hours after a dramatic Ducati 1-2 performance at Brno, Andrea Dovizioso pulled on his helmet and leathers to double-check what he had learned during the race weekend. Dovizioso and teammate Jorge Lorenzo were among 20 riders who completed as few as 13 laps (Jack Miller/Pramac Ducati) to as many as 77 (Marc Márquez/Repsol Honda) on Monday during the official MotoGP test at the 3.36-mile Czech Republic circuit.
Dovizioso called it a day after 40 laps, having posted what would be the fourth-quickest time, 1:55.517, 0.308 second slower than Márquez’s test-topping lap. Johann Zarco (Monster Energy Yamaha Tech 3) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) were second and third, respectively. Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) also circulated in the 1:55s.
Michelin brought one new tire to the test, a front slick. The riders were already familiar with its profile, which was tested earlier this year at Catalunya. The updated construction was aimed at improving grip and stability while braking and when entering corners. Every rider had one medium-compound example in his allocation, which also included the standard soft, medium, and hard front and rear options available during the race weekend.
After changing into street clothes, Dovizioso communicated his impressions from the weekend and the test to the media:
“I think we did a good step during this weekend about my riding style with the bike. This is one point. The second is we understood something and I think that will help manage every track. But, in my opinion, we are still not 100 percent with the rear tire. We are still missing something. We can do better.
“It was a really important race. I really loved the race from the start to the end for many reasons. I was fighting with three riders—Valentino, Marc, and Jorge—and, at the end, we won. When I think about that, it’s good. To have this victory in Brno is something important for us.
“It’s good to have a test after a race because you can immediately understand, but we can’t use a full day because it is important to save energy for the next weekend. You have all the data so you can understand small details about the chassis or something else that is important. A test after a race is always easier: The track is in good shape, and the lap time is really fast.
“We compared two chassis, the fairings, and some small things. We already compared these during the weekend, but the differences were small. And during the weekend, it is always difficult to understand. Today, it was a bit more clear. It’s important because we now know the direction for the future.
“It is always difficult when you try something like two fairings because the winglets affect everywhere, and it is impossible to have clear data everywhere. You can have speed at the end of the straight. You can have the speed at the slow point. You can have how much we wheelie. This is one part. But there are a lot of other points where you can’t have the real data. That’s why it’s impossible to have a clear idea about the positives and the negatives. Overall, I think Ducati did a good job.
“The chassis also have positives and negatives but with even smaller differences. At Sachsenring, we tried the same setup with two chassis. The difference was very small. But Sachsenring isn’t an ideal track to understand chassis. That’s why it was important for us to understand the chassis at this track. During the weekend, we couldn’t really understand the difference. Today, yes. Yesterday my bike was moving a lot in the last five laps; the other chassis was more stable. Today, we confirmed that. This is good for us.
“The feeling of the new Michelin was strange. At the moment, it looks like nobody really likes it because you have to ride the bike in a completely different way. I think you have to change the bike for that tire. We did just one exit; it’s not enough. Maybe the tire can be good, but we are set up for the normal Michelin. That tire is going in a different way.”