Andrea Dovizioso says the majority of Ducati’s focus and development strategy is on 2019 as he feels Marc Marquez’s MotoGP world championship lead is ‘too far to think about’ despite winning in Misano.

The Italian rider claimed his maiden win and Ducati’s first since 2007 at Misano by pushing into the lead ahead of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo on lap six to gradually build a time cushion on chasing duo Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.

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Dovizioso fended off pressure from Lorenzo, before the Spanish rider crashed out on the penultimate lap, to claim his third victory of the year. The win moves him up to second place in the riders’ championship with a 67-point deficit to runaway leader Marquez which he fears is too large to close down with six rounds remaining.

“We are focused on that because Marc is ahead too far to think about the championship,” Dovizioso said. “We can make a strategy. We have to work on the details to try to be faster and stronger. If we can do something important this year, good but if we can’t we have to be more ready for next year.”

Dovizioso feels his race strategy was key to fending off attacks from both Lorenzo and Marquez in the hunt for victory. The Italian says the time buffer to both riders over the final third of the race applied the pressure on Lorenzo before being able to conserve his tyre life over the final laps.

“My strategy was to be on front and make my rhythm because I knew I had a good rhythm to stay in front,” he said. “But Jorge sometimes make a special race, so it’s difficult, and Marc was very strong.

“When I was leading, I was trying to play a little bit with the lap time because I have a margin to be faster and take some more risks under control to understand the competitor.

“You have to adapt during the race. It is important to have your strategy and if it’s better to stay in front or behind or how much you have to save the tyre from the practice. At the end you have to make some part of the strategy during the race.

“When I saw two seconds and one lap to the end, I have enough margin. There was a big stand. It was nice to do that.”

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