Andrea Dovizioso feels after the opening rounds of the current MotoGP campaign the championship fight remains “completely open” but remains confident as he feels Ducati has strength in its package for the upcoming races.

The Ducati rider slipped to third in the riders’ standings following the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez last time out, finishing just off the podium in fourth place, but remains only three points off leader Marc Marquez while Alex Rins splits the pair in second place two points in front of the Italian.

With races coming up set to favour Ducati’s package, including Le Mans despite the Italian manufacturer failing to win at the French round in the modern era, Dovizioso duly feels optimistic for both this weekend and the following races.

“The situation in the championship is good and is completely open,” Dovizioso said. “Like I’ve already explained in the past this year we have more to fight in the championship, yes we are at the beginning of the championship so still anything can happen but I expect more and to be able to fight for the championship.

“I am happy to be here, Le Mans has always been a good track for me, a good weekend, last year our speed was good so I expect to be fast – faster than Jerez – but you know in this season the competitors are a bit different.”

Dovizioso accepts he must be fast from the first session with the threat of mixed weather conditions overhanging this weekend at Le Mans, with one eye already on the automatic Q2 spots, having seen his Americas MotoGP charge undone by failing to progress from Q1 in qualifying.

“The speed is different and I think in practice there will be more riders on top and it is very important to be there.

“Especially with the weather as Le Mans is always like this and it looks like the weather will be unstable so anything can happen and we have to be ready.

“Overall I am happy to be here and I think we can continue to fight and be on the podium while fighting for victory.”