Yamaha MotoGP chassis has 'scary' potential - Ducati's Dovizioso

The Australian Grand Prix proves Yamaha's MotoGP chassis still has "scary" potential, says Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso

Yamaha MotoGP chassis has 'scary' potential - Ducati's Dovizioso

Yamaha was on a record 25-race winless streak in MotoGP before Maverick Vinales's triumph at Phillip Island last weekend.

Dovizioso finished third behind the Suzuki of Andrea Iannone, while Valentino Rossi - his rival for second in the championship - faded to sixth.

Though Dovizioso does not anticipate a Yamaha resurgence, he said the result proved the team's fast-corner strength remained and was just being masked by the weakness of its engine and electronics package.

"I don't see Yamaha in such good form, and this is demonstrated by Valentino's pace dropping," said Dovizioso. "The same happened to Maverick, but less severe.

"[Phillip Island] confirmed that the level of the Yamaha chassis is scary and in the fast corners they can be very fast.

"But there are other aspects where they are not there.

"I think however it's an important result that will have an impact, especially on Maverick. He needed this result."

Dovizioso is now 15 points ahead of Rossi with two races left.

He believes Australia was Rossi's "best chance of doing well, so it was positive to have succeeded in finishing ahead".

But he still thinks their fight is wide open going into this weekend's Malaysian GP.

"I have pulled away a bit, but one error can change everything," Dovizioso said.

"Perhaps I can win the race, but if I crash while he is behind me then he can overtake me in the championship.

"I don't want to say it's over."

Dovizioso was partnered by Alvaro Bautista at Phillip Island due to Jorge Lorenzo being sidelined with a fractured left wrist from his Buriram practice crash.

Bautista, who usually rides for the satellite Nieto Ducati team but has lost his place on the MotoGP grid for 2019, ran as high as second before finishing fourth.

Dovizioso was not surprised that Bautista had been so competitive.

"It was not easy for him," said Dovizioso.

"When you change motorbikes and equipment you have to adapt, and Phillip Island is not the best place to do it.

"He has suffered a lot, he has fallen a lot, but even so he has prepared to race from a mental viewpoint. He has done very well.

"I had no doubt about his speed really. This has already happened in other races.

"On the tracks where the tyres wear a lot, he does very well, he is very fast."

Bautista is heading for Ducati's factory World Superbike programme for 2019, and will be back at Nieto this weekend as Lorenzo intends to try to race in Malaysia.

He said he did "the same thing as always" on his works team one-off and was pleased to have a final chance to show what he could do in MotoGP.

"When I saw that I was second, I felt that it was where I should be, in the mix: that this is my place, not fighting for 10th," Bautista said.

shares
comments
Iannone will 'never understand' Suzuki MotoGP team dropping him
Previous article

Iannone will 'never understand' Suzuki MotoGP team dropping him

Next article

Injured LCR Honda MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow has second surgery

Injured LCR Honda MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow has second surgery
Load comments
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Plus

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021