Andrea Dovizioso was only tenth on the timesheets at the end of the Qatar test, but the ever-cautious Ducati star has confirmed he was looking in good shape for the cancelled MotoGP season opener.

Meanwhile factory test rider Michele Pirro went a step further, predicting Dovi would have claimed his third Losail victory in a row.

The 'inline' machines from Yamaha and Suzuki had seized the initiative in the opening 2020 pre-season test at Sepang, but the V4s - and Ducati in particular - closed the gap in the Qatar test.

Although inline bikes filled the top four on the timesheets, things were looking much closer on race pace, with Dovizioso and team-mate Danilo Petrucci completing a strong race simulation on the final day of testing.

Dovizioso told SkySport.it: "The tests did not go badly. It is never easy to understand exactly where the others are, because there are so many different ways to approach the tests.

"There are those who want to show they are ahead and those that don't, so you don't know who pushed 100% and who wanted to take risks.

"But we would have been quick in Qatar.

"I don't know if it would have been the same in Thailand or at different tracks.

"There is an increasingly high level in MotoGP, with increasingly competitive bikes and increasingly talented young people - it is starting to be hard for us 'old' people, but we can still have our say!" added the 34-year-old

Indeed, as far as Pirro is concerned, Dovizioso was on target for another perfect start to a season.

"Dovizioso. And on the podium also Petrucci," Pirro told GPone.com, when asked for his predictions if the opening Qatar round had gone ahead as planned.

"Every year [Ducati] never seems competitive in the tests, but in the last two seasons Dovi has arrived in front of everyone in Losail. In the past we have seen Vinales very strong in qualifying then struggle the race.

"I'm convinced that if we raced in Qatar, Ducati had everything needed to win."

Unfortnately for Dovizioso and Ducati, Qatar is the only event so far cancelled from this year's line-up due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Meanwhile, Pirro added his voice to those that believe Yamaha's surge in form during winter testing is down to the change of rear tyre, explaining no other component can suddenly make a bike half-a-second faster.

 

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