Andrea Dovizioso: "Team Rivalries Raise The Level Very High"

With the MotoGP silly season fast approaching, much has been made of the internal team rivalries inside of the Fiat Yamaha and Repsol Honda garages. Speculation has been rife that the rivalries have helped to upset the delicate balance that exists within the teams. But when the question of how Rossi's absence would affect Jorge Lorenzo was put to Andrea Dovizioso during his Thursday afternoon debrief, the Repsol Honda rider disagreed, saying that the rivalries only served to make the team stronger.

The question came up after Dovizioso was asked about the reported signing of Casey Stoner to Honda. Here's what Dovizioso had to say on the matter: 

Q: In a European magazine there was a story that Casey Stoner had definitely signed for Repsol Honda. Is this something that bothers you, or is it something you can't control so you don't worry about it?

Andrea Dovizioso: I don't know. I don't think so, because if it happened, I think Honda would have told me, because we have a really good relationship with Honda. And especially I'm not afraid about that. Also if I am, it doesn't change for me. Unfortunately, I'm still not near the fastest riders, but I still don't have the potential to decide my own future. Anyway, before you can think of the future, you need to get the results. Now we made four races, three podiums, so it is a good result, but not enough. Now we will focus on that, and not on the future, because we want to make results, and especially my position, my situation now, I'm not afraid about my situation.

Q: How do you think Valentino's crash will affect the situation? Now Valentino is gone, there's one less person fighting for the front, but also, even though we all expect Valentino to come back strong, it's unknown how his injury will work out, so it might change the dynamics of the situation.

AD: Sure. Sure. Because Valentino wasn't as fast as Lorenzo the first three races. But sure, the experience of Valentino, he is really strong, and during the season would have been very strong, and would have been sure to fight for the title. But now, in his situation for him this is impossible. So it's important for us for the championship, because now we have more possibilities for the championship.

It looks like Lorenzo and Valentino have a very good package, but the fighting in the same team raises the level really high, and makes the results even better, makes faster speed, faster lap time. Now, without one of the two fastest riders, maybe it's more difficult for Lorenzo. Maybe.

Q: Do you think he will lose a little bit of motivation?

AD: It looks like that in Mugello, it looks like this.

Q: In Mugello, Lorenzo said he was scared after Rossi's crash, that it affected him.

AD: I don't believe that.

Q: Do you think the same rivalry you have between you and your teammate raises the level too, as it does for Rossi and Lorenzo?

AD: Yes, much more than last year. Last year, we weren't fast enough to fight with Pedrosa. This year we are much faster, and Dani became faster, so I think it can be good for us, this fighting. To try to fight for the championship.

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...somebody denied Jorge's words. i don't belive him either. He is Soooo calculated. there is nothing natural in him. really. It is clear he wants to be succesor of Rossi's position im Gp. he wants to be a superstar of a future. Everything he does is se calculated and serves this purpose. Every paper with some words before the race, yellow shirt, post race celebrations, mind games. He is very good rider but what I miss in him is lack of his own way. This is clearly a copy of the GOAT. Sorry Jorge i don't buy it. I prefer CS and Dani which ara who they are as we know them. You are to cheap for me. He knew he hed a chance to win this year with VR but there was stil very long way to go and we will never know. Right now as Nicky said it is his title to loose. And I think he is gonna crack. It may be strange but pressure from Dani may be stronger then form Vale as it is Pedro who is underdog at the moment..and jorge can't keep telling bullshit about not thinking of title etc. He has been crowned a champion by everybody(including myself), a little bit to early and this is worst thing that could happen to him.

On all points. A fellow MotoGP fan said to me after Mugello that Lorenzo appears to be "too much" in everything he does. I do not doubt that he is genuinely sorry for Valentino's bad luck and would rather have a strong teammate and competitor at his side to fight it out with, but the amount of antics from him during and after Mugello just seemed to be a little over the top and starting to border on insincerity. He just doesn't seem real. And in that I very much agree that people like Casey or Dani - no matter how good or bad they are with the media or if people like them or not - have a much more genuine personality. At least they have something to like or not. I feel with Lorenzo it's all just show and it's impossible to have any idea who it actually is you're dealing with.
And yes, he's now the one being hunted. He loved pointing out that he's not a title candidate and Vale is the one with the pressure. Now he is. He's won titles before, but MotoGP is a different matter and I think it's gonna show. At the moment I'd say it's advantage for Pedrosa, but the season is still long.

As for Dovi, I like his interviews. He's giving honest answers without needing to talk other people down, like some riders do. Always interesting to read, thanks for that. :)

..yesterday before UKGP orge was sayin' that pressure is not on him but on..Casey beacuse he has been WC in the past and jorge hasn't. Geez , who is he tryin' to fool.?? Such a pity he decided to be a VR vol.2. " a little too much in everything he does" - exactly. Even his mind games are so obvious. maybe he will change sometime..
And Dovi. He is doin a good job this year. With Casey at the door of HRC there will be a battle for next seat. Maybe Dovi will go to Duke? If Vale rejects the offer...

He is on the factory Honda (which has won one out of four races) and has had three podiums in four races. How much more of a competitive bike get you get? If it's not deemed the best, it's not competitive???

Of course Repsol Honda is competitive, however he doesn't have a signed contract for next year. That's what I'm referring to, next year...