Prominent guest driver at Audi Sport in the DTM: On the 8th and 9th of June, Italian MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso (33) will swap his Ducati Desmosedici GP for a weekend at the wheel of an Audi RS 5 DTM. The Ducati ace, a two-time MotoGP runner-up, contests the DTM races at Misano (Italy) for the customer squad WRT Team Audi Sport. With assistance from Audi Sport, Dovizioso has prepared intensively for his DTM debut.
THE TWO-TIME MOTOGP RUNNER-UP
Andrea Dovizioso (33) has contested in the World Motorcycle Championship since 2001, and MotoGP – the top class – since 2008. The Italian is now in his seventh year as a factory rider for Ducati. Dovizioso finished runner-up in the championship in 2017 and 2018. He comes from the town of Forlimpopoli, about 50 kilometres from the Italian DTM racing venue Misano. It was here in 2018 that “Dovi”, as his friends and fans call him, won the San Marino Motorcycle Grand Prix. He inherited his racing genes from his father: “My dad competed in amateur motocross races. I started racing when I was four years old. Of course, at that age I wasn’t thinking about the world championship.”
|Ducati Desmosedici GP||Audi RS 5 DTM (2019)|
|Basic concept||Rear-wheel-drive motorbike||Rear-wheel-drive car|
|Weight (without driver)||157 kilograms||986 kilograms|
|Engine||Four-cylinder naturally aspirated||Four-cylinder turbo|
|Displacement||1 litre||2 litre|
|Output||250 hp (184 kW)||610 hp (449 kW)|
|Weight-to-Power ratio||0.6 kg/hp||1.6 kg/hp|
|Top speed||ca. 350 km/h||ca. 300 km/h|
UNCHARTED TERRITORY ON FOUR WHEELS
After several rally and GT races, Andrea Dovizioso now celebrates his automobile debut in the DTM. “I never drove karts as a kid, only motocross and later pocket bikes,” the Italian reveals.
SCARY SEARCH FOR THE RACING LINE
With help from Audi Sport, the MotoGP star has prepared intensively for his DTM race outings. After initial practice laps in the race simulator and a one-day functional test in the Audi Competence Center Motorsport in Neuburg an der Donau, Dovizioso took part in another two-day test on the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli – the same venue where he won his home race on two wheels in 2018.
The Ducati factory rider helmed the test mule of the new Audi RS 5 DTM powered by a 610+ hp two-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine. On hand with advice were two seasoned DTM experts: factory driver Nico Müller in Neuburg and at Misano ex-DTM driver Mattias Ekström, two-time DTM Champion and World Rallycross Champion with Audi.
Although as a motorcycle racer he has spent more than ten years exceeding speeds of 300 km/h, Andrea Dovizioso was in for a big surprise during his DTM tests at Misano: “I got a fright in the first laps. I didn’t expect it. But the Misano track is very different to the Neuburg one. I knew that the fastest corner at Misano is taken at full speed in the DTM car, but when I got there for the first time I thought: no, it’s impossible to drive it at full throttle.”
There is a logical explanation for this: As a motorcycle rider, Dovizioso has not experienced the phenomenon of aerodynamic downforce from the body, wings and underbody of a race car, which generates extra grip in addition to the tyres and suspension.
“As a racing driver, you simply need the feeling of being in control,” states Andrea Dovizioso. “And that takes time. The line you take in a car is very different to the racing line on a bike.” But with each lap at Misano, he built more and more trust in the enormous grip potential of the Audi RS 5 DTM. “What’s more, the team gave me a lot of help with its analyses to understand everything,” adds the Italian, who is known for his analytical approach.
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