Andrea Dovizioso is still searching for the final piece in the puzzle to make Ducati a firm victory contender in MotoGP 2016.
The Italian was 2.019s from race winner and future team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in the Qatar season-opener, which remains both his only podium of the season and the closest a Ducati rider has got to a race win this year.
“The feeling with the Desmosedici GP is very good but we still have to improve in some areas. We are constantly fast in practice, but we never seem to be able to fight for the race win,” said Dovizioso, ahead of this weekend's Catalunya round.
Dovizioso was one of many riders to fall during last year's Barcelona race, meaning he is especially curious about how the new Michelin tyres will adapt.
“In my opinion the Montmelò circuit is one of the best tracks in the world and I am so happy to go there to race. It will be important to see how the Michelin tyres will be on such a difficult track.”
Team-mate Andrea Iannone, who fought back from a poor start to finish 4.742s from victory last time out at Mugello
, took fourth place in last year's Catalunya event.
“This weekend I want to continue our Mugello form at Barcelona, because it's a track I like so much and I won a race here in Moto2 in 2012,” said the 2017 Suzuki rider. “In MotoGP however in the last 3 or 4 years we have struggled a bit, but this year the situation is completely different because the tyres and the electronics have changed.
“My Desmosedici GP has shown itself to be a really competitive bike, and I hope it will be a great weekend for us.”
After three DNFs each, Iannone and Dovizioso are currently just ninth and eleventh in the championship respectively. The top Ducati rider is currently Avintia's Hector Barbera, two points ahead of Iannone.