Andrea Dovizioso is looking forward to 2017 with renewed optimism after notching two MotoGP wins this year on the Ducati.
Dovizioso, who will be joined in the factory team by Jorge Lorenzo, feels Ducati has closed the gap to Honda and Yamaha and is confident the Desmosedici with soon be on a par with the leading Japanese manufacturers.
The Italian, who claimed his second win of 2016 last time out in the wet at Sepang in Malaysia, said: “The two victories of this year for us are very important but apart from that, we finish the season in a good way and that is very important to make a good test on Tuesday with the new bike and start with a good level, with a good feeling for the bike.
“I think this year there was a lot of up and downs for everybody, especially with the tyres, because it was not easy to manage a new situation. I think we have a lot of positive things from this year and I think we did a step from last year," Dovizioso added.
“I believe we are closer to the Yamaha and Honda, still we need something, but I believe in our project and I am so happy to continue another two years with Ducati and we will try to get a few things to try to fight for the championship."
Lorenzo will ride the Ducati for the first time next week at the official post-race test and Dovizioso said he was 'really interested' to see how the three-time MotoGP champion gels with the machine.
“Yes, it's a big change and something strange for me because he was always my competitor from the European championships, so I am happy about that and I'm really interested to see him on our bike."
Dovizioso, meanwhile, feels a third win this season may be beyond him at Valencia on Sunday, although the 30-year-old has been boosted by the performance of the GP16 in varying circumstances over the past few races.
“I will try for sure [to win]. In the past it wasn't the best track for us but in the last few races on three completely different tracks our competitiveness was quite good, so I think we can start in a good way. The tyres will make a big difference about the competitiveness of our bike so we have to wait until tomorrow."