Andrea Dovizioso intends to capitalise on his ‘big chance’ to fight for a maiden MotoGP world crown as he aims to claw back some ground on Marc Marquez this weekend at Motegi.

Dovizioso has slipped to 16 points behind Marquez after the Honda rider chalked up two straight wins at Misano and Aragon, but the Italian says there is enough time remaining to swing the title back in his favour.

Motegi in Japan heralds the start of three consecutive flyaway rounds before the season reaches a climax at Valencia in November and Dovizioso is confident of a strong result at the Twin Ring circuit, where he finished as the runner-up last season on the factory Ducati.

“It will be a nice two days every Sunday together now and it will be a very important moment for everybody. Still I think the championship is quite tight, not like it was before, but I think there is enough time to start from here, almost from here,” he said.

“I think all three have a big chance to fight for the championship and it is so easy for this situation to change race by race, so like all three riders we will start and we will be focused and push 100 per-cent to try to get the maximum.

“For sure everybody will try to attack but still there is a lot of points and anything can happen. I’m so happy to be in this position at the moment and for sure it will be very difficult because they are very strong, but I’m so confident about where I am now with the positive and negative things I have, so I will try the maximum and we will see.”

A compelling championship battle involving Marquez, Dovi and Maverick Vinales has now reached a critical phase with only four races left, but Dovizioso is feeling calm and relaxed as he prepares for the decisive run-in.

“It’s a really important moment but I feel quite calm about that because I know very well what we did this year: we did a great job and we did almost everything perfect,” he said.

“We are at the end of the championship and we are fighting with Honda, Yamaha, with these two special riders, so it means we did a great job. Last year we were quite far about the championship and at the beginning of this season, so I am so happy about the work we did.

“We know some negative points we have from the bike so I am really happy to create this situation. I don’t know if we have a chance to fight for the championship until the end but for sure we will try 100 per-cent and we will enjoy this moment.”

Motegi has been kind to Dovizioso and Ducati in the past and the championship hopeful expects the Desmosedici GP17 to be equally as effective this weekend, although an uncertain weather forecast could pose a new set of challenges.

Dovizioso said: “It’s a good track for us and especially for me because there is a lot of hard braking. I think we are quite competitive in the braking and with the fairing I think we can also be competitive in the acceleration.

“At the end of the straight our engine is very strong, so we can be competitive but the weather is so unstable, it looks like, so we have to leave it day by day and try to get the maximum.”


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