Andrea Dovizioso seemed to be off to a good start. He was in fourth place at the start of the race in Jerez and the leading Ducati on the grid. Good launches by Aleix Espargaro and Dani Pedrosa pushed him back to sixth where he kept Maverick Viñales company, but there was still hope yet. He’d been keeping within the top seven and was about to strike back in the second half when his water broke in lap ten. That is, the water pump on his Desmosedici GP. Its contents gushed out over the rear wheel, forcing Dovizioso into a premature retirement off the track to avert catastrophe.
This was a case of history repeating itself in the most disastrous fashion. Dovizioso had experienced similar hiccups with his water pump on several separate occasions before.
“It was a pity because another no-points score was the last thing I needed. We had a problem with the water pump; some water came out and finished on the rear wheel and I almost crashed three times so I had to retire.
“However, if we try and look at the positives, we are working well, my feeling with the bike is good and this is the most important thing for me, even though it’s true that here at Jerez we never managed to be as competitive as in the first three GP’s. On a personal level it’s important to me to make sure that I haven’t made any errors in the last three races, and this gives me the confidence to try and be competitive immediately, starting from Le Mans.”
Hopefully he spends less time checking out the front tyres at Le Mans as he did at Jerez. Apparently, the three from Michelin were his main focus at the post race test on Monday. When the same issue consistently crops up, there’s a hinge that desperately needs oiling.