Andrea Dovizioso heaped praise on his Ducati team after pushing Valentino Rossi all the way in a breath-taking opening MotoGP race of the season in Qatar.

Dovizioso was in contention for a dream win on the GP15 throughout the 22-lap race under the floodlights at the spectacular desert venue but in the end narrowly had to concede victory to the Yamaha of Rossi.

Nonetheless, it was a tremendous performance by Dovizioso and his team-mate Andrea Iannone, who completed the podium in third place.

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"It's really nice to come back to fight for the victory and this is something as riders you want to feel as much as you can," Dovizioso said.

"It was really exciting for me to finish the race with Valentino and I pushed 100 percent, especially in the overtaking. We made aggressive overtaking but in a safe way, which is what I like. But in the last lap I couldn't try again to overtake Valentino because the bike was really fast in the straight but I couldn't exit in Turn 1 in front of him.

"I knew after a few corners he had more traction and I tried to make the last lap as fast as I could and it was my fastest lap with a really finished tyre, but it wasn't enough," he added.

"But we can't forget the bike is really new for us and to finish one tenth behind the leader in the race is amazing and Ducati did an amazing job, everybody working really hard and I want to say thank you to the team and the engineers."

Dovizioso was quietly optimistic of his prospects of running at the front in the race after impressing during practice and qualifying, but the Italian rider admitted he couldn't take anything for granted until the race situation unfolded.

"We had some feelings [about how they might perform] but you never know until you are in the race," he said.

"For [the first half] of the race we didn't push 100 percent because we had a question mark about the consumption of the rear tyre and as we expected, at the end it wasn't really good and I couldn't make high speed in the middle of the corner and on the entry to the corner I couldn't make what I wanted.

"It was very difficult to follow Valentino and to fight with Valentino and it wasn't enough, but we have to be happy."

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Ducati wouldn't be where they are without Rossi's development of the Desmo. He and Burgess set in motion another competitive machine. The same they did with the RC211V and M1.

The VW-Aprilia-Ducati with the special 12 engines , 24 liters and pseudo-qualifying tires runs under the open factory rule. They are not running in the same class with the Yamaha and Honda Factory bikes. its just the third category behind the open bikes...

If VW has some pride in their bikebrand then they should give up all of the advantages now. With the +10-15 km/h extra topspeed and them saying they don't use the fuel anyway there should be no disadvantage...so VW...are you ready to gain respect back?

by the way Ducati are par on top-speed with the Honda.