Andrea Dovizioso has welcomed Jorge Lorenzo to Ducati's MotoGP team, stating the presence of a three-time premier class champion will be of benefit to both him and the Bologna factory.
Having battled Lorenzo throughout his career in 125s, 250s and MotoGP, Dovizioso recognises the qualities that the Majorcan possesses, and sees them as beneficial to the development of the current Desmosedici machine.
“Like I always say I'm really happy about this change," said Dovizioso. "To have a world champion in our team is really important in this moment because we have a good bike. It's always a nice challenge for me to fight with a champion like Jorge.
“I fight with him in a lot of championships. We fight in 250s for two years. We fight in 125s. Now we have the same bike. I'm really happy to have this challenge.
“I'm also really interested to see him on a different bike to Yamaha with a different characteristic. It looks like the style is Jorge and the style of Yamaha suits very well."
On whether the powerful, less agile Ducati will suit Lorenzo, a rider who has spent nine seasons aboard Yamaha's sweet-handling M1, Dovizioso remains fairly unsure.
“This is a difficult question because Jorge has a particular riding style. It's very important how we approach this new project. I believe he will request more turning. It's one of the biggest points I've requested. In two days we will know his feeling and everything can start.”
Ending 2016 with a seventh place finish in Valencia, Dovizioso was not satisfied with his final showing of the season.
“It was not too good. Unfortunately the race was very different to what I expected because my speed in practice was much better. I didn't have the same stability on the front as I did in practice and I don't understand why.
“We are trying to understand from the data now. I don't think I had a problem with the tyres. It's just that the characteristic of the tyre is, if you push a little bit more, you can have a big problem. But it's not clear.
“It's the reason why I couldn't make a fast race. At the beginning the pace was 1m 30.4/5 and I was really on the limit. In practice I was quite faster than this lap time but I couldn't keep it. I did a really slow race. Also the rear dropped for everyone.
“When you don't ride in the right way you suffer more with the limit on the rear. I'm not happy about that. We have to take all the positive things from this year. We finished in a really positive way.
“We got fifth position in the championship. After four races we were eleventh. I'm really happy how we finished the season. I'm happy with the feeling of the bike. It's not easy to see from outside but we made a small step inside the team to get better results.”