Andrea Dovizioso predicts that Ducati will be closer to the front in this weekend's French MotoGP.

Last year at the stop-go Le Mans circuit saw Dovizioso qualify on the front row in the dry, then get within two laps of a podium in the wet race, which he also led during the middle stages.

"Last year I went well both in qualifying and the race here at Le Mans, and it's a circuit where I think we can be closer to the front," said Dovizioso, who also set encouraging lap times during private testing at Mugello on Monday.

"As for results it's going to be difficult because this year there are many strong riders, but I think we can do well, even though the weather conditions are always an unknown factor.

"I am in any case happy to go to Le Mans, after fifth place at Jerez for sure it's a positive moment for me."

The top Ducati rider has finished +12s (fifth, Dovizioso), +21s (third, Dovizioso), +19s (sixth, Iannone) and +27s (fifth, Dovizioso) in the events so far this season.

Team-mate Cal Crutchlow also had a strong Le Mans 2013, finishing a career best second for Tech 3 Yamaha.

"Le Mans for me is a strange circuit but last year I had a great race. I managed to take a podium and a second position in MotoGP. Given the conditions you never know what it's going to be like on a race weekend, but I look forward to riding the Ducati there."

Crutchlow is yet to have a 'normal' race for Ducati, having suffered electronic trouble in Qatar, tyre problems then a big fall in Austin, missing Argentina due to a hand injury and retiring early from the Jerez race with brake problems.

"After the recent bad luck run of races, hopefully we can go to Le Mans and start to have some good results. The right hand is still a bit sore, but I think we should be a lot better than we were at Jerez."

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JG94: [...]
The way these first races have gone for him, it would cause bit of a shake up if Ducati lost Dovi to Suzuki and Crutchlow somewhere else...
htt p: / / www DOT autoevolution DOT com/news/is-ducati-losing-its-motogp-riders-81164 DOT html[\blockquote]

Please stop quoting autoevolution, they know nothing about it. They are not really into motorcycles and the material is just a poor attempt at putting together pieces found in materials found elsewhere (MCN is the first that comes to mind) ...