Le Mans MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso aims for consistent podium challenge

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Andrea Dovizioso is confident he will be a consistent podium threat for Yamaha in the future after he crashed out of top three contention in a rain-hit French Grand Prix at Le Mans yesterday.

The Italian was locked in a thrilling battle for third with compatriot Valentino Rossi when he lost the front of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine at Turn 9 just four laps from home.

The former 125GP world champion blamed a lack of grip with the right side of his Bridgestone front rain tyre and he told MCN: “It was a beautiful fight but really difficult because the grip was zero for everybody and each time we went into the corner we were losing the rear or the front.

"Trying not to make a mistake was really difficult and unfortunately I made just one mistake and it cost me the podium. I was losing a lot on the right side, especially compared to Valentino.

"I had to recover in the brakes but I could do this because my bike on the brakes was really strong. But I used the front tyre too much and for the last 12 laps I felt the limit on the front and three or four times I lost it.

"The last time I closed it a little bit too much at Turn 9 and I couldn’t recover. It was a really slow crash and I was already without the brake. It can happen.”

Dovizioso was able to re-join the race and still finish in seventh position and he believes now he has adapted his riding style to suit the YZR-M1 more after a switch from Honda.

He added: “I am really happy because my feeling with the bike this weekend has got very strong and I am much more confident with the Yamaha. The jump this weekend has been bigger than what I expect, so now I am really looking forward to going to Barcelona and I am really confident.”

For coverage of the Le Mans MotoGP race and all the news and views from Casey Stoner’s shock decision to retire at the end of the season, see the May 23 issue of MCN.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt