Motorcycles: Dovizioso, Yamaha 'doesn’t have answer' to “very bad” Qatar MotoGP

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The 15-time MotoGP race winner and three-time championship runner-up made his factory Yamaha debut with the RNF Racing team in last Sunday’s 2022 season-opener in Qatar.

After eight years of riding Ducati machinery and with no Yamaha experience since 2012 when he was a Tech3 rider, Dovizioso has struggled since he returned to racing following a sabbatical for the final five rounds of 2021 with Petronas SRT.

Admitting after pre-season testing that he was beginning to understand the way to ride the M1, but was still “losing too much” on the bike, Dovizioso’s Qatar weekend was extremely difficult.

Qualifying down in 20th having been hindered by windy conditions on Saturday, Dovizioso finished the race 14th and 27.3s off of winner Enea Bastianini as he battled with a high front tyre pressure.

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“At the beginning of the race we had some issues about [front tyre] pressure,” he revealed.

“Something happened, Yamaha has to understand. But all Yamahas had problems with that.

“It was locking the front in strange places, I didn’t understand, I lost the front two times, I went off the track and when I saw the pressure I understood why.

“That was the beginning and it was very, very bad and I was losing a lot.

“After that I was able to ride alone and I was able to ride in a normal way, and lap times become acceptable at 1m55.5s, 1m55.4s.

“So that was not that fast, but acceptable and like what we can do.

“But I was really on the back. And I also finished the tyre, but this is normal because of the way you have to ride the Yamaha now.

“When you are struggling with the front and you are not able to make speed in the corners, you use a lot the rear tyre on the edge and you can’t do that because you lost the tyre.

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“So, it wasn’t the best.”

Andrea Dovizioso, RNF MotoGP Racing © Autosport.com Andrea Dovizioso, RNF MotoGP Racing

Andrea Dovizioso, RNF MotoGP Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Dovizioso added that though the high front tyre pressure was causing him major issues, it wasn’t actually the main problem he faced on the Yamaha and that it only exacerbated it.

“I don’t have the good answer because they have to study, they have some ideas,” he said when asked if he thought his tyre pressure problem was track-specific.

“But this wasn’t the problem, it just increased the problems.

“So, it was very bad, especially the feeling at the beginning.

“When you have a problem of pressure it’s not a problem of the bike. So, we have to understand and manage it in a better way.”

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Reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo also suffered from his front tyre pressure getting too high last Sunday and meant he could do no better than ninth to kick of a title defence he later admitted he is “worried” about.

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