MotoGP title runner-up for the past two seasons, could it be a case of third time lucky for Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati in 2019?

The winner of last year's Qatar season-opener may not have set headline grabbing lap times during testing, but that's never really been Dovizioso's style.

Instead he has been looking strong for race pace, while carefully evaluating incremental gains to the Desmosedici, a bike already considered the most complete machine on the grid.

Throw in the harmonious partnership with new team-mate Danilo Petrucci and Dovizioso is perhaps better prepared than ever before.

"We worked positively and methodically during the winter break, and I'm confident we'll be ready to put up a fight from the very first round," said Dovizioso, preparing to start his twelfth MotoGP season and seventh year with the official Ducati team.

"The lap times from the tests, especially in Qatar, don't really show the whole picture since most riders mostly worked on race pace.

"As for us, we collected plenty of interesting data and we analyzed it into great detail to come up with the best possible strategy ahead of this round.

"We'll be able to assess our level and that of our opponents more in depth only once we take it back to the track, but what matters is that our feeling with the bike has been very good up to this point."

Dovizioso was fourth quickest at Sepang and only 15th in the recent Qatar test, when the factory Ducatis shunned soft rubber to focus on race pace.