By Stephen English
Andrea Dovizioso will make his Ducati debut during next week's post-race Valencia MotoGP test and the former 125cc world champion is eager to get his first impressions of his new bike.
The Italian spoke with the media this afternoon about his upcoming switch from Tech 3 Yamaha to the factory Ducati squad and, while he is clearly excited about the opportunity to race for the Bologna manufacturer, he is also realistic of the task ahead.
“I'm curious for Tuesday's test,” said Dovizioso. “However my feet are on the ground and the situation is that we will have to work on the bike. I don't have high expectations for this test, but we'll have time to work on the bike [over the winter]. At the test we will start working together and understand everything as best as we can.”
Dovizioso added that he will ride the current configuration Ducati, rather than the 2013 bike: “It's normal to ride the race bike during the test so that we can start to understand the bike. Then we can try and make the changes that we will need.”
Ducati will also test at Jerez in late November.
Having been dropped by the factory Honda squad at the end of 2011, Dovizioso has performed superbly on the satellite Yamaha this year, taking six podiums and finishing as the top satellite rider with fourth in the World Championship.
While he is clearly looking forward to being back on factory machinery next year, Dovizioso admitted this weekend will be a difficult one for him as he leaves behind Tech 3.
“Today I thought about it being the last weekend with Tech 3. I think that I can see the good points and the bad points [about moving] but I'm relaxed and I'll use the time to have fun with this team and try to leave in the best way possible by finishing well on Sunday.”