Whether you consider Andrea Dovizioso's sophomore season in the top flight a success depends on which headlines you read.

On the one hand, the Italian became a MotoGP race winner with victory in the wet at Donington Park, he finished inside the top five on nine occasions and his 2009 points tally was higher than that of predecessor Nicky Hayden's in 2008 - albeit aided by the American's injury woes.

However, considered from another angle, Dovizioso's victory was his one and only podium, he finished outside the top five in the overall standings and his 2009 points tally was lower than he managed in 2008 aboard the satellite JiR Team Scot Honda.

Rewarded for his mighty efforts on the privateer Honda RC212V in 2008 with a chance to join the factory Repsol outfit, Dovizioso was tipped to get on terms with team-mate Dani Pedrosa in 2009, but found it difficult to get comfortable on the bike.

In his defence, Dovizioso's score sheet is a fairly positive one, his race results (including six fourth place finishes) proving nothing if not consistent. Trouble is, Dovizioso often found himself as the bridge between the big four of Rossi, Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner, without ever really getting on terms with them.

Donington Park aside, when treacherous weather conditions fortuned the brave more than anything else, Dovizioso was unable to climb onto the podium at any other stage in the season.

Furthermore, a disappointing end to the year would see him suffer the indignity of being edged by Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards in the standings, the American exerting revenge for having been beaten by Dovizioso to British Grand Prix glory.

A busy winter of testing beckons now for Dovizioso, where he will look to get back on terms with the front runners. Recognising he needs to up his game in 2010, Dovizioso will certainly have something to prove.

Statistics:

Team: Repsol Honda Team Bike: Honda RC212V

Championship position: 6th Points: 160

Races: 17 Pole positions: 0 Victories: 1 Podiums: 1 Best results: 1st (Donington Park) Points finishes: 13

Top 10 MotoGP Rider of the Year 2008: 4th

Top 10 MotoGP Rider of the Year 2009:

8 - Toni Elias 9 - Loris Capirossi 10 - Nicky Hayden

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