Andrea Dovizioso believes that he would have been able to fight for the win in today’s Catalan Grand Prix, had he not been taken out in controversial circumstances.
Dovizioso launched into the lead at the start of the race, from fifth on the grid. He was soon challenged by Marc Marquez, who went down the inside at turn 10. Seconds later, the Italian was hit by Jorge Lorenzo. The second Repsol Honda had dived down the inside of Maverick Viñales, carrying far too much speed.
As a result, Lorenzo lost the front and sent Dovizioso into the path of Maverick Viñales. Valentino Rossi had nowhere to go, hitting Lorenzo’s bike and falling out of the race.
Having looked at race data, Dovizioso believes he could have challenged for the win. He said:
“After a great start, I took the lead and I was in a strategic position to ride the race we had planned. The rear tyre still wasn’t perfectly heated up so I wasn’t pushing the pace yet but, considering how the race eventually unfolded and the rhythm shown by other riders, I believe we could have been contenders for sure. I prefer not to comment about the incident, but the race still was entirely up for grabs at that point.
“Tomorrow we have another important test to keep improving our base, and we’ll try to make the most of it to bounce back immediately at Assen.”
Today’s incident may have severe consequences for Dovizioso in the championship. With Marquez being victorious, he now trails the reigning champion by 37 points. Meanwhile, he is only two clear of Alex Rins, and five of Danilo Petrucci.
Dovizioso returns to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya tomorrow for the one-day test. Round eight of the season is at Assen on 28-30 June 2019.