MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
How I ride: Andrea Dovizioso
Dovizioso finished runner-up to Marc Márquez in 2017 and 2018, so how does rider counter the skills of his greatest rival and how has riding technique changed since he came to MotoGP?
How has riding technique changed since you came to MotoGP in 2008?
Riding technique has changed a lot. The bikes have changed a lot and the intensity we are able to put into the bike has changed a lot, so you need to be much fitter because to be fast for 45 minutes with such a level of intensity is impossible if you are not very, very fit. This is the first thing, the second thing is the electronics. The electronics have changed a lot: they are much better and the way we manage them is much better; this is the biggest change and it affects our riding style.
Also, the racing has changed because there are a lot of good riders that are close to the fastest riders.
Tyres also have a big effect on riding technique and how you set up the bike, so how has the change from Bridgestone to Michelin changed things?
It’s not about whether the tyres are better or worse, it’s not about this company is better or worse; it’s just a different way to ride. If you look at the lap times, sometimes we are faster with the Bridgestones and sometimes with the Michelins. So we can’t speak about better or worse; it’s just different. When there is such a change I think it’s not important if it’s better or worse, because these are the rules and everyone has to adapt, so it’s just about the difference.
With the Michelins, small things can have a big effect. So sometimes riders and teams lose their way, even though the answer is very close. Most of the time it’s difficult to understand what you have to do and often I hear riders say things like, ‘we are completely in the shit, this is impossible,’ but I don’t think this is the reality. It’s just your feeling that everything is very bad, but in fact the answer is very close. This is the characteristic of these tyres – with Bridgestones it was completely different.
How does the change of tyre brands affect the way you attack a corner?
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.