Andrea Dovizioso had admitted that he was happy to come home in a safe third position in Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix despite championship rival Marc Marquez closing the gap to him with a last lap win, thanks to the treacherous conditions at the Misano circuit.
Looking like he had the pace to sit with Marquez and race leader Danilo Petrucci in the early stages of the race, he admitted afterwards that when their pace started to increase, he thought of the championship and played it safe.
“In the end I’m happy with my third place because today I wasn't able to find a perfect feeling with the bike. I tried to keep up with Marquez and Petrucci and I did for 20 laps, but the track conditions were really difficult.
“When they began to lower their lap times I would have had to take too many risks to stay in touch, and I preferred to slightly drop my pace to bring home the 16 points for third place, which is very important for the championship. The Misano weekend however confirmed that we can be competitive on every circuit and we can fight for the title until the very end.”
And despite teammate Jorge Lorenzo crashing out of the lead, it was a good day all round for the manufacturer located only 50 miles from Misano, with test rider Michele Pirro also delighted to come home in fifth place on his wildcard appearance.
“The weekend hadn’t begun well with yesterday’s crash in qualifying, which unfortunately compromised my grid position, and today I didn’t want to take too many risks in the early laps so I started too slowly. From half-way through the race I started to lap at a good pace and I began my recovery, getting close to Viñales.
“But I was struggling to keep his pace and in the end I decided not to take too many risks because, after yesterday’s two crashes, I was keen to finish the race. I still have to improve because I’m lacking pace in the early stages of the race, but today I really enjoyed myself.”