Andrea Dovizioso continued to stake his claim to a top MotoGP seat in 2009 after another polished performance at Indianapolis cemented his fifth place in the overall standings.
With Nicky Hayden now confirmed as Ducati-bound, Dovizioso is very much favourite to replace him at Repsol Honda, the Italian giving a hint at what could be this weekend when he led aboard his JiR Team Scot Honda early on at a wet a windy Indianapolis.
While he would slip back to fifth place when the race was finished early, Dovizioso has nonetheless continued to put distance between himself and sixth place Chris Vermeulen in the overall standings with four races remaining.
Indeed, Dovizioso was pleased with his performance, particularly given the difficult weather conditions, although he believes drier weather could have seen him clinging onto the lead for longer.
"I am very pleased with the outcome of today, obtained under conditions that were – quite simply – incredible. We had intense rain and then a strong wind, which then led to the early conclusion of the race.
“It was very easy to make mistakes and ruin the race, but I started fast, as often happens with me, and I was quick to take the lead. In fact, in the beginning I wanted to stay in front of everyone. I gave the maximum today to earn the most points possible.
”The tyres worked well, but today the choice was difficult and we opted for a solution that gave us sufficient confidence. We must further improve with our tyres, and Michelin are working hard to be more efficient. I believe that in different climatic conditions, we could have also fought for the podium."