Joint MotoGP World Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso admits there is a ‘question mark’ hanging over the competitiveness of the Ducati this weekend at Aragon.

Dovizioso, tied on 199 points with Marc Marquez at the top of the table, struggled at the Spanish circuit in 2016 but the Italian says he is feeling ‘relaxed’ ahead of FP1 on Friday.

“In some races we didn’t expect to be competitive and we did a great race, so I’m relaxed to see tomorrow morning the level we can be in this track. Last year it was a disastrous race and we had some problems during the race, but in the practice I felt good,” he said.

“This race, last year, it was the first one that we changed the balance of the bike, and from here I felt great and I did a great last part of the season. We have a question mark but I believe we can be competitive; we know how strong they are in this track and it will be difficult to beat them but have our card and we will see during the weekend.”

Dovizioso finished on the rostrum in third place in tricky conditions at Misano behind Marquez and Danilo Petrucci, but the factory Ducati rider said he opted not to push harder because he didn’t feel good with the GP17, not because he was concerned about making a mistake that could affect his championship prospects.

“It’s not just about the championship and when you feel good I think it is important to push and try to do the maximum, but when you don’t feel good, especially in a difficult situation like in Misano, it was quite stupid for me to try to do that.

“I wasn’t feeling so good on the bike from the first lap, there was something not so good, and that’s why I decided – not because I thought too much about the championship.”

While Aragon has not traditionally been a strong circuit for Ducati, Dovizioso enjoys competing there and says other factors will be more important this weekend.

“Yes it’s a really nice circuit, not the best for my riding style, but in this championship that is not so important, it’s very important the tyre and how we work with the bike and like every weekend, we have to put the wheels on the ground to understand our competitiveness.

“I’m quite relaxed and I feel quite good, and I am ready to fight. I know it will be very hard to fight with them for the championship but we are here, we are in a good situation with the points, and we will try.”

Meanwhile, both Casey Stoner and Michele Pirro have tested at Valencia, which hosts the final round of the championship, but Dovizioso said the nature of the test revolved around ‘something for the future’ rather than being focused specifically on the 2017 finale in November.

“It is always important when they are making the test and for sure they already had some data for the last round, but that test was more to test something for the future, so it wasn’t so important about this season.”


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