Andrea Dovizioso heads into this weekend's Valencia season final already confirmed as finishing fifth in the world championship.

That is the highest ranking for a Ducati rider since Casey Stoner's departure at the end of 2010. Dovizioso's 174 points is also already higher than compatriot Valentino Rossi's season-long Ducati best of 163, in 2012.

Rossi, like Dovizioso, took two podiums in a season - and it would be a surprise for Dovizioso if podium number three is possible at Valencia.

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"I don't think the Valencia race will be easy for us: the layout of the track is totally different to the others, but in any case we have to continue to give the best feedback to the team, as we have always done throughout the season," he said.

"We've made some big steps forward recently in consistency and pace and I'm sure we can improve in the future. I've got some good memories of the 2011 race when I got onto the podium, beating Pedrosa for third overall, but I don't like the track very much and I'm sure I'm not the only rider who thinks this way."

The new Ducati GP15 is not expected to be ready until the Sepang tests next February. Perhaps as a result, Ducati have stated that Dovizioso and new factory team-mate Andrea Iannone will only ride on the first day of next week's official three day test.

Ducati - like returning manufacturers Suzuki and Aprilia - will continue to enjoy all of the Open class concessions in 2015.