Andrea Dovizioso feels his Ducati package is stronger this year than his MotoGP world title-challenging effort from 2017 but accepts too many mistakes have cost him in the championship battle.

The Italian rider currently sits joint-fifth in the riders’ world championship but a whopping 61 points behind leader Marc Marquez when last year the pair traded victories between them in an intense MotoGP title fight.

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While Dovizioso has confidence his Ducati GP18 has the potential to be faster and more consistent at more tracks compared to last year he concedes crashes have plagued his progress so far this year.

After being taken out in the Jerez melee with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa at Jerez, Dovizioso then crashed out at Le Mans and Catalunya to mark three DNFs so far this season, while he suffered just two all year in 2017.

“This season is a completely different story to last year, I believe we are in a bit better situation than last year because we are faster at more or less every track,” Dovizioso said. “This is positive.

“Unfortunately we did mistakes, too many zeros, and if you look at the championship it is bad.

“Like before Assen, I am confident and I am also confident for here. We know that this is not the best track for us but overall I think we can be competitive and just over the weekend you can understand what you can do.”

Dovizioso feels Michelin’s 2018 tyre compounds are also playing a role in his progress this season having felt less comfortable with this year’s rubber compared to the season before.

“The tyres are different to last year so we have to understand how is the tyre because it will affect the whole weekend,” he said. “We have to keep working, improve a little bit in the way we manage the tyre because I think our situation is still not as good as last year on that. We will focus on that.

“I don’t want to say it is our problem. I think it is an aspect where we can be better. It is different. I think the tyres are a bit different to last year and this is the reason why we are not good like last year so we have to try to find the way to manage the tyre like last year.”

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