Andrea Dovizioso is anxious that his first-lap crash at Aragon does not end up costing him third place in the MotoGP championship, and is determined to fend off Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa in the final run-in.
Although Dovizioso has not won a race this year, consistent finishes – including five podiums – have kept him high in the points standings. Pedrosa has two wins on his tally this season, but having missed several rounds with a broken collarbone, he is currently 15 points behind Dovizioso with four races to go.
With Dovizioso not expected to keep his place in the factory Honda team for 2012, there is added pressure to resist Pedrosa and remain in the top three in the standings to help his prospects of a competitive ride for next year.
"Leaving Aragon without scoring any points is also so bad for the championship," Dovizioso admitted. "We are still third with 15 points advantage over Dani, but now we need to return on the podium and have good results. Last year we had a strong end of the season, especially in Japan and Malaysia, so I look forward to the next GPs."
Dovizioso said his accident at Aragon was a classic cold-tire mistake.
"I made a small but fast slide at the first right turn, all the weight went on the front, I wasn't able to control the bike and I immediately lost it as the front tyre was still not at temperature," he explained. "It's so disappointing to see your race over on Turn 2 of the first lap after all the hard work done during the race weekend.
"This morning we struggled during the warm-up on used tires and of course a bad session can affect you slightly, but at the start I was 100 percent focused and motivated for the race. It's a pity because we had the pace to fight for the podium and the team did a good job."