With four podiums in the last five races, including being the top Honda rider at his home Italian Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso is doing an admirable job of holding his own against superstar team-mates Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.
Dovizioso starts this weekend's German Grand Prix third in the championship - 33 points behind Stoner and 14 points from Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo - and is hoping a new swing arm for his Repsol Honda will give a further increase in performance.
“We arrive in Germany strong and competitive. The second place in front of the Italian crowd at Mugello gave us an extra boost to continue working and improving race after race," said Dovi.
"The post GP test at Mugello was an important occasion to fine tune the set-up of the bike and try a new swing arm. We had good feedback so we arrive in Germany with a good base and I think we will use the new swing arm as the feeling was positive and lap times came easier.
"I enjoy going to Sachsenring, it has a good atmosphere and there are always a lot of spectators. However, as a circuit it is very different from Mugello, it's a quite short racetrack, with a very slow first section followed by a very fast second half.
"We will work hard from the first practice session, as we did in Mugello, this is very important to prepare the machine for the race. I'm very motivated, we are third in Championship and we want to continue gaining important points for the season".
Dovizioso, unlike Stoner and Pedrosa, does not yet have a Honda contract for 2012.