Fabio Quartararo leads the 2022 world championship by four points after the first seven races having taken a victory in Portugal, and second-place finishes in Indonesia and Spain against a backdrop of large inconsistency from the rest of the field.
But his results have far outweighed those of his fellow Yamaha riders, with the next best M1 currently Quartararo’s team-mate Franco Morbidelli 83 points adrift in 17th in the standings with a best of seventh in Indonesia.
Dovizioso has scored just eight points on his factory-spec Yamaha run by RNF Racing and has struggled hugely to adapt to the riding style needed to extract the best from the M1, which is to brake late and maximise corner speed to minimise the bike’s power deficiencies.
Looking at the situation as a whole, Dovizioso believes it mirrors that of Honda’s in recent years, whereby only six-time world champion Marc Marquez could get the best results out of a troubled bike.
“The bike is really good in some areas because Fabio showed really incredible things,” Dovizioso said during the French Grand Prix weekend.
“But it’s the only way to be fast, in my opinion, with this bike now. So, if you don’t ride in this way and you don’t do a lot of metres like him [in braking] and do a lot of speed in the middle of the corners, you can’t be fast because the bike with the same speed as the other bikes doesn’t accelerate from the grip.
“So, if you don’t do more speed in the middle of the corners you are not able to be fast.
“Fabio has that feeling and he is able to really dance in every track and make a lot of speed in the middle of the corners.
“It’s the only way to be fast with this bike and even more compared to the past. But, in my opinion, it’s just a difference of grip because without grip you can just be fast in the middle of the corners to be competitive.
“The chassis gives you the possibility because the chassis is really good on entry and middle of the corners.
“But if you don’t have the microchip in your head to ride the bike in that way, you can’t be fast. And I don’t have that at the moment. I was trying to change that but I didn’t find it.
“This is the reason why in every track, more or less, the gap is very similar. It’s the way you have to ride the bike.
“So, I think Yamaha is in a really good situation because they won last year, they are first in the championship this year.
“But they are, in my opinion, in a very similar situation as Marc and Honda in the last six years – in a different way, because the bike is completely different.”
Race winner Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Dorna
Dovizioso added that it was likely Honda deliberately found itself in that situation as not to develop a bike that Marquez couldn’t ride, though its radical overhaul for 2022 has ultimately done this.
“I don’t know if Yamaha decided to arrive in this situation or [just] arrived in this situation,” he said.
“In Honda, I think they decided to go that way because Marc was [strong]. I don’t know, because I don’t have the experience of the last four years.
“But now the situation is similar to Honda. Just one rider is able to use the potential and make a huge gap compared to the other riders.”
Andrea Dovizioso, RNF MotoGP Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images