Andrea Dovizioso believes his shot at winning the 2018 MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix was compromised by using up his rear tyre “too much” while trying to pass team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
An aggressive move from Marc Marquez at Turn 3 on the opening lap put Dovizioso behind Lorenzo, with the Ducati pair left to chase after the championship leader.
As Marquez stretched out an initial one-second advantage, Dovizioso looked to have the edge on Lorenzo and spent several laps closely following.
But Lorenzo held firm in second and, as when they reeled in Marquez, he took the fight to the reigning champion and ultimately emerge victorious, whilw Dovizioso soon ran wide at Turn 1 and could not recover the lost ground.
Speaking after the race, Dovizioso said he was not sure about his choice of medium front and medium rear tyre compounds for the race – as opposed to Lorenzo’s soft-soft approach – but also admitted he wore out the rear tyre racing behind his team-mate.
“At the end maybe the tyre choice wasn’t the best, but also I couldn’t overtake Jorge,” Dovizioso said. “I maybe used the rear tyre too much to try to overtake Jorge and I couldn’t overtake him.
“I was faster in that part of the race but I couldn’t really prepare overtaking in the best way.
“That cost me, for sure, because I had to slow down too early. Ten laps till the end, I did a small mistake but I was already in trouble with the right side on the rear tyre.”
Dovizioso said he was concerned by Marquez’s initial breakaway attempt before realising the Honda rider didn’t have superior pace.
“At the beginning I was a little bit worried because I didn’t expect [it]. But after seven [or] eight laps I understood he didn’t have a better speed than us.
“So I was focused on Jorge. Not on Marc. “I think if I was able to overtake Jorge, my race [would have] changed a little bit. But we never know.”
As Lorenzo and Marquez scrapped for victory, Dovizioso began to close back in on the pair – but the Italian’s Turn 1 off ultimately ended his charge
“Unfortunately I lost too much when I went out of the track,” he explained.
“I lost too much, and I couldn’t ride in a good way for three laps.
“Because [of] the drop of the rear tyre, [it] was very difficult for me to exit on the corner in three corners, and I lost too much.”