Andrea Dovizioso believes the new Desmosedici offers 'everything we need to aim big' in MotoGP 2016.
Dovizioso gave last year's GP15, the first complete Ducati designed under the leadership of Gigi Dall'Igna, a spectacular debut by finishing just 0.174s from what would have been the factory's first MotoGP victory since 2010.
The Italian repeated the runner-up result in the following two rounds, then made it four podiums out of five starts at Le Mans. But a freak warm-up fall at his home Mugello race was followed by three DNFs in the next four races.
Dovizioso would only climb the podium once more in 2015, in the wet at Silverstone, as he dropped to seventh in the final standings. However he is confident of a fresh start on the 2016 machine, during MotoGP's new era with a single ECU system and Michelin tyres.
“I am really excited about the 2016 championship, because we have a very important season ahead of us. This will be my fourth year in Ducati, and I believe that we have everything we need to aim big, especially after all the work we've been doing over the winter,” he said.
“I immediately found a good feeling with the Desmosedici GP, and I could see the positive aspects of the new bike. We still need a bit more time to fully adapt to the new Michelin tyres, but the early feelings are very good and so I'm optimistic.”
Although only eleventh fastest at the recent Phillip Island test, Dovizioso's best lap was just 0.7s from the top and a much clearer picture of the early MotoGP hierarchy is expected during the final test in Qatar.
2016 will be Dovizioso's ninth season in the premier-class and fourth with Ducati. The 29-year-old is a race winner in 125cc (world champion in 2004), 250cc and MotoGP, claiming premier-class podiums with Honda, Yamaha and Ducati.