Andrea Dovizioso pins Austin practice slump on 'wrong' front tyre choice
Andrea Dovizioso says he made a “wrong decision” in front tyre choice, which left him facing Q1 after finishing MotoGP Americas Grand Prix practice in 11th.
The Ducati rider was fourth-fastest at the end of FP1 – despite suffering a technical issue - but dropped to close to a second off the pace in the afternoon session in 11th, and looks set to miss direct passage to Q2 with rain forecast for Saturday's FP3.
Dovizioso opted for the medium front tyre instead of the Ducati's favoured soft option, and he says this misstep in tyre choice meant he was “losing the front too many times” on his flying lap.
Resigned to the likelihood of facing the first part of qualifying, Dovizioso hopes this will give him an advantage if he is to get into Q2 should conditions be “not normal”.
“Unfortunately when I put in the new tyre to make a laptime, the feeling wasn't so good,” Dovizioso told motogp.com.
“I [was] losing the front too many times. So I'm not not very happy. I think I made a wrong decision with the front tyre, because I didn't put the soft in and more of the time our bike needs it.
“So I'm not happy, but our pace is not too bad. I did a 2:05.3s with the used tyre from the morning at the end of practice.
“So not too bad, not too far from the fastest [riders]. Unfortunately there are a lot of riders with good speed.
“But it's bad because tomorrow looks like it will be wet and not normal conditions. I'm trying to be optimistic, so maybe [going through] the Q1 can help me in Q2.”
Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci looks set to join him in Q1, having ended Friday's running 13th overall, 1.1s off the pace of Yamaha's Maverick Vinales.
Petrucci is complaining of missing the “right confidence” on his GP19, and admits working to solve his problems is proving “tricky” as he is not suffering from “one big issue”.
“We were able to improve quite a bit throughout the day, but I still don't have the right confidence,” he said.
“Despite feeling more at ease in FP2, we couldn't seize the top 10 in the final minutes, which somewhat complicates our plans for tomorrow because the forecast says it's going to rain.
“We don't have one big issue to solve, and this makes the work on the setup a bit tricky.
“We need to improve in terms of grip and stability to be more consistent.
“I can't say I'm satisfied with our position, but we still have ideas to try and I'm confident we'll be able to make progress tomorrow.”