While he is one of the few riders that doesn't consider Phillip Island to be one of his favourite circuits, Andrea Dovizioso is confident of returning to form ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.
Consistency has marked the Italian's impressive maiden season in MotoGP, but ninth place last time out at Motegi proves to be a lower result than he has managed in most of this year's races.
Nonetheless, the newly confirmed Repsol Honda rider is determined to bring his rookie year to an end on a high, even if he has fallen away from Jorge Lorenzo in the fight for top first year honours.
Testing the JiR Team Scot Honda at the Victoria circuit earlier this season, Dovizioso is prepared for some chilly weather and a tough challenge around a track he admits he doesn't favour.
“Phillip Island is a technically demanding circuit, characterised by a cold climate and strong wind. Before the season we did winter testing here, but now the weather conditions will be different and we will compare the data collected, especially for tyres, where we expect to see some improvements.
“For me it has never been a favourite track, only last year did things go well there and we will have to be strong and prepare for the race carefully to maximise our results. With long, fast corners the front-end of the bike is under a lot of stress and results reward the committed. Whatever happens I want to collect the best possible result.”
JiR Team Scot director Gianluca Monitron, meanwhile, cites the next two rounds in Australia and Malaysia as a big test for his rider, particularly as he bids to keep the gap back to Chris Vermeulen, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden in the standings.
"The next two events outside Europe in Australia and Malaysia will be held on technically demanding circuits with long straights. For Andrea this will be a very hard-fought couple of races as behind him in the championship are three riders with works machinery: Chris Vermeulen, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden.
“Our goal is to win fifth in the race, because under normal conditions it is going to be difficult to get on the podium with our motorcycle as our opponents have received many technical developments through the year."