The two Ducati Team riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, finished the Qatar GP at Losail, the opening round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship, in fifth and sixth place respectively.
After starting from the second row of the grid, thanks to a fourth place obtained in yesterday’s qualifying, Dovizioso lost a couple of places in jostling for position in the early laps but thanks to a constant run and a couple of riders ahead of him crashing out, he managed to finish the race in fifth place.
Team-mate Crutchlow, making his race debut with the Ducati Team’s Desmosedici GP14, had a few problems. The British rider, who started from row 3 with eighth quickest time, had a problem with his bike’s transponder after a few laps which affected his race. The problem got worse in the final stages and Cal had to struggle in the last few laps, but he did manage to cross the line in sixth.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th
“We have to look at the positive aspects of this result, because in view of the championship a fifth place is always important. But another important objective for us was to reduce the gap to the winner, and we managed to cut that down by half from last year, and that’s another important fact. We still have understeer problems that condition our performance in the race, but I am pleased with the progress we’ve made so far, even though we still have to work hard to improve our bike.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 6th
“It was a bittersweet race for me. Finishing in sixth place is a good result, I needed to repay the boys with a finish because they worked hard after the warm-up, when I crashed out. In the race, from lap 5 onwards, we had an electrical problem: the transponder wasn’t working, the dash switched off and the bike began to behave strangely. I was pleased to be competitive until mid-way with Aleix and Dovi but I struggled to finish the race because the problem got worse towards the end. However it was important to get this race distance under our belt for Ducati and come away from here in not too bad a shape.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“It is positive that in the race we confirmed the improvements that we had already shown during the tests. The gap to the frontrunners has been considerably reduced since last year, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do to recover ground and so it is important for us to continue to work hard on the project.”