Tactical error costs Andrea Dovizioso in Austin qualifying
An error in strategy in MotoGP Americas Grand Prix qualifying led to Andrea Dovizioso failing to lift himself out of Q1 for the first time since 2017.
Dovizioso was 11th at the end of Friday's running having taken the “wrong” front tyre for his time attack, and was forced to go through Q1 when FP3 on Saturday morning was cancelled due to adverse weather.
The Ducati rider sat atop the Q1 timesheets with a 2:05.907s in the closing moments, but was shuffled out of the Q2 places by team-mate Danilo Petrucci and Honda's Jorge Lorenzo.
Missing the cut by 0.016s, Ducati team boss Davide Tardozzi says Dovizioso's worst qualifying result since Jerez '17 was down to him not joining the rest in Q1 by running two fresh soft tyres in a bid to save one for Q2.
“Dovi was confident that with only one rear tyre he could manage to pass into Q2,” Tardozzi told motogp.com during its Q2 coverage.
“He didn't push very hard at the beginning [of his run], when the tyre was at its best.
“Finally the competitors put in the second tyre and he got pushed down in the times. So in some ways it was a mistake.”
Dovizioso admits his error is “really bad”, because it is hard to come through the pack at the Circuit of the Americas.
“I''s easy to understand what you can make in a different way [with hindsight],” Dovizioso said.
“We didn't make two exits in Q1, because I thought one could be enough and [allow me to] keep two tyres for Q2.
“And I waited a little bit in the box for a bit better condition on the track at the end of Q1. The laptime wasn't too bad, because the conditions in that moment were not so good.
“But it wasn't enough, this is really bad, because it's not good here in Austin to start in the back. It's not easy to gain a lot of positions.”