The Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso has prepared for his guest appearance at the Misano round of the DTM by taking the Audi RS 5 DTM through its paces on the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Afterwards, the Italian MotoGP ace reflected on his one and a half days of testing.

Andrea, what does it mean to you to experience your DTM debut on the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli?
For us Italian racing drivers in particular, the circuit is hugely important because of its tradition, of course. I grew up not far from the race track. Last year I won the MotoGP race at this circuit. So for me personally, there is something very special about this track. It made me very happy and a little proud as well to be asked whether I’d like to take part in the DTM as a guest driver at Misano.

How much fun did you have while driving the Audi RS 5 DTM?
It was huge fun! I just love new challenges. And driving a powerful racing car like the RS 5 DTM at the limit on a full-scale race track was definitely a new experience for me. It was truly enjoyable. 

What was the biggest difference between your Ducati Desmosedici GP and the RS 5 DTM?
The greatest challenge for me was the racing line. It’s of course completely different with the RS 5 DTM compared to the Ducati Desmosedici.

Were you surprised by anything?
Yes, I was amazed at how easy it is to control the racing car when the rear gets twitchy. Even at low revs, the engine has enough power to control minor slides. 

What did you find challenging?
The biggest challenge for me was to reach the limit in the fast corners, especially in the first six or seven laps. I simply lacked a feel for it. Actually, the DTM race cars generate so much downforce that theoretically you can do so much more. It’s very different than the MotoGP bike. I knew that the DTM drivers tackle certain corners flat-out. When I drove those passages myself with the RS 5 DTM, I thought it was impossible. But then Mattias helped me a lot.

How was it working with Mattias (Ekström) and the team?
I think we worked very well together, but with a guy like Mattias I hadn’t expected it to be otherwise. The same applies to the entire Audi Sport crew. The support I received was simply overwhelming. We made perfect use of the time we had available for testing. We not only turned a lot of laps but also simulated many situations that will crop up during the race, for instance, my starts, pit stops and tire management. 

What are your expectations for your DTM debut next week?
As far as the end result is concerned I have no expectations. The level of competition in the DTM is notorious for being extremely high. I’ve watched a lot of races and they all seem very close. I’ll try to keep up with the field, but that’s about it in my view. In many situations experience is needed, which I obviously don’t have. For this reason, I’m not going to set myself unrealistic goals; I’m just going to enjoy it. 

The race weekend is right between two MotoGP races. How do you manage your full racing calendar?
I admit it’s not easy, but I’m kind of used to it now. Otherwise, I’m often on the road between MotoGP races, for instance in motocross. I like the variety.

Will your family and friends be watching the Misano races?
Yes, I think so. Many of my family and friends follow my outings and are generally very passionate about motorsport. I hope they’ll have fun watching my DTM races.

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