MotoGP Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso has been bolstered by his performance on Friday – but can he maintain the momentum throughout the Grand Prix?
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso has emerged out of the tumultuous 2017 MotoGP season as the man who will take the fight to defending World Champion Marc Marquez.
Blazing forth seemingly out of nowhere, the Italian has given the young Spaniard a run for his money. Stealing away the win from Marquez on the last lap’s last corner, twice, Dovizioso gone from a thorn in Marquez’s side to a full-blown lethal threat. And his confidence ahead of the grid’s stint at Philip Island is only being bolstered:
“[On his Free Practice performance] I expected to be competitive. But we did a little bit more, so I’m really happy about that. Immediately from the first exit I felt quite good. I’m happy with the feeling of the bike, but it’s not enough.
Marc confirmed what we expected. He’s very competitive here. He’s very consistent so it will be difficult to beat him but he’s not too far. I’m really happy about that. We have to continue working in the same way because we improved a little bit.
We confirm a really good speed. We started with a used tire and we did our best lap on the first run.
I’m really happy about that. We already compared the two rear tires so we have important feedback. We have to continue working like this and to see tomorrow if we have a normal practice to be able to work.” – Andrea Dovizioso
Dovizioso currently trails Marquez by only eleven points in the rider’s championship, having taken a large bite out of Marquez’s lead over him during his deft overtake during the last few corners at Motegi.
While Yamaha’s lack of results during latter half of the season are lamentable, Ducati wasted no time in taking their spot. With the Italian team unlocking both the power and agility of their notoriously difficult-to-ride Desmosdeci, Honda has every reason to be fearful for its future.
How the Grand Prix at Philip Island shakes down is anyone’s guess, but with the tally of remaining races quickly ticking down, there headlining fight is primed to erupt.