Andrea Dovizioso goes into 2019 with “more confidence” than previous campaigns, and “really” believes he and Ducati will be in the MotoGP championship mix after a positive end to the last calendar year.

Speaking at the glitzy launch for Ducati’s MotoGP team in Switzerland, the 32-year old Italian said he feels “better than last year,” and believes his speed at two post-season tests at Valencia and Jerez in November showcased the Bologna factory’s strength.

“I’m really excited because this season is a bit different for me,” said Dovizioso, runner-up in both of the previous two campaigns. “I feel better than last year - [with] more confidence.

“For sure every year is a different story. But the feeling at the end of the season in the last two tests was really good. We tried some new parts on the bike and already our speed was good.

Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati MotoGP 2019 launch

Video Thumbnail: 

“In Sepang we’ll have a full new bike. I’m confident and I think our level can be really good from the beginning. From that we have to build something more again. I think we will have a lot of material to try in the first two tests before the season starts. Overall I’m really excited for this season.”

2019 will be the Italian’s seventh in Ducati’s factory team, and after two largely positive seasons in 2017 and ’18, when he was champion Marc Marquez’s most consistent opponent, he is aiming to push the Spaniard harder this time around.

As he explained, It was Dovizioso's form in the second half of last year, after uncharacteristic falls at Le Mans and Montmeló, plus that luckless pile up at Jerez, that convinced him he can put together a more rigorous challenge in the months ahead.

Not only did he win races at Brno, Misano and Valencia. Podium challenges at Aragon and Phillip Island – bogey tracks for Ducati in the past – suggested the men in red should no longer fear any of the 19 circuits that make up the 2019 calendar.

“It’s difficult to win but in the last two years we finished second with really nice seasons,” he said. “They were two completely different seasons. Two years ago we fought until the last round; last year, unfortunately, no.

“At the end I’m really happy about last year. It was a bit up and down. I did some mistakes. But this is an important experience to make something better this year. I think we understood many things during the season, and from the middle of the season until Valencia we got a lot of points.

“We fought at almost every race for victory. Really happy with the feeling I have with the bike. I know a lot about the engineers inside Ducati. So all is good. I’m really comfortable and I think we can really fight for the championship.

“The expectations are high, I have a great feeling with both the bike and my crew, and we can count on more experience. I'm happy to have Danilo alongside me in the garage, we know each other well and I believe we can fight on track but also work together to develop the package.”



Loading Comments...