SportMotoGP"Dovizioso knows what he needs to go fast, but...

"Dovizioso knows what he needs to go fast, but it's costing him"

The now defunct Petronas Yamaha SRT went from a triumphant 2020 with Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, who ended up being runner-up in the MotoGP world that year, to a chaotic 2021 course, in which Valentino Rossi did not achieve the expected results, while for the On the other side of the garage, as many as five different drivers paraded: Morbidelli himself, Garret Gerloff , Jake Dixon , Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso.

“The first thing is that we had the same bike from the previous season, while the other (teams) didn’t sit still, they all improved. Then, all the physical problems in the world (with Morbidelli) and five riders in one year, difficult to be runner-up in the world with five drivers”, Forcada points out in conversation with Motorsport.com to understand such a sudden turn in the situation.

After Morbidelli ‘s knee injury, the Italian’s Yamaha M1 2020 passed through several hands until it reached Dovizioso , with whom Forcada had never worked and with whom he will face the 2022 season with a motorcycle, on paper, factory , a situation that a few months ago no one could have even imagined.

“Here I already believe everything, nothing surprises me, I’ve been in this for many years,” fits the former technical chief of pilots like Jorge Lorenzo or Maverick Viñales.

Dovizioso has also been in the World Championship for many years, but Forcada never had the opportunity to work with him, although in the final part of last year he was able to get an idea of what kind of driver the Italian is.

“He is a person who has a lot of information and who has been around for many years, and this is very good,” he says.

“He knows what he needs to go fast but he is having a hard time getting it, because for him the Yamaha is a completely different bike. Already in 2020, with the bike he was on ( Ducati ) it was difficult for him to be fast when ( Michelin ) introduced the new rear tire , and when he came to our team he found a new bike for him and it’s costing him, as it cost Franki (Morbidelli) the first year and everyone when he changes bikes, because they have very different characteristics and you have to understand how to ride it” .

However, Moià ‘s coach is confident that Dovizioso will get ahead.

“He is very hardworking and, above all, very involved in detail, a bit with the Ducati philosophy, in which details are important and help you go fast. As times are today, you don’t have to win two seconds, if you improve a few tenths it is already a very important step”.

When he was at Ducati , Dovi was called the ‘professore’, creating an aura of leader in the development of a project that has led to a motorcycle that, today, everyone points to as the best on the grid.

“The best bike on the grid doesn’t exist,” Forcada stops short. “But it is true that Dovi fits into that concept, he pays a lot of attention to details, he has a lot of method and wants to have things very clear at all times. He is one who wants to know where he loses and at what point he wins, what he has to do to win and what to do to avoid losing. He works many hours looking at data, studying, comparing and looking for a way to get ahead”, he values.

Dovizioso , who will turn 36 in March, always wanted to make it clear, when he arrived at Petronas , that he had signed for Yamaha, not for the satellite team, a maneuver that can only be understood from the perspective of trying to develop the Japanese manufacturer’s motorcycle .

“For any brand, the arrival of a rider from another factory who is good, and with a lot of experience, always helps you. But not only here, if he had gone to Honda or Suzuki it would also have helped them. A rider can always improve you if he comes of a good bike that he knows, not like what happened to Morbidelli, who came to Yamaha with only one year of experience in MotoGP and with a bike that no one knew what it was (Marc VDS’s private Honda). a rider who has spent eight years with a factory team, wherever he comes from, is always welcome”, admits the technician.

The Italian has three runner-up finishes (2017-2019) and 15 victories in the premier class, a level that he will try to reach at the handlebars of a full factory M1.

“I don’t know if he will be able to do it because, right now, we haven’t tested the 2022 factory bike yet, it will be an official bike, yes, but nobody knows what the bike is like, in Jerez we had the first prototype, which I don’t know if it will be the definitive one, will also depend on what the others do”, puts the Forcada pause.

“It’s a bit like what happened with Frankie, who went from runner-up in 2020 to his best results, before the operation, being third and fourth places. The problem is that if the bike doesn’t improve and the others do, you’re going to worst”.

Forcada introduces a very interesting element, and that is that the young people who are coming to MotoGP have raised the level of the category.

“What we have to see now is what the other factories will do and what the young people do, we have seen that those who came up in 2021 performed very well, and now people of high quality have also come up. Times have tightened a lot. Obviously , Dovizioso will take a step forward with the 2022 bike, that’s the way it is, but to think that the new bike will solve all the problems is a mistake. A lot of work will have to be done”, warns Forcada .

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