Andrea Dovizioso says his run to third position in the Spanish MotoGP feels ‘like a victory’ for him on a day when he felt the latest generation Ducati GP20 didn’t have the pace to challenge the Yamahas and Marc Marquez on the Honda.

The Italian had endured a low-key weekend coming into the 2020 MotoGP opener having qualified behind both Pramac machines of Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller, a position he’d hold during the early stages of the race.

However, as he has so often done in previous years, the sheer experience of the Italian would allow the race to come back to him, overtaking Miller late on to secure his first ever podium around the Spanish venue.

Despite the result though, Dovizioso says it belies the work Ducati needs to do to bring the GP20 up to speed, saying it took a faultless performance by him to maximise the result.

“This third place is like a victory for many reasons, especially because I didn’t have the speed. I couldn’t really fight with them because I was slower but I didn’t give up in the difficult moment and didn’t make a mistake and I was able to make a good move three laps from the end on Jack.

“That was the best we could do but we have to improve the speed because Marc was faster than everybody and these two were much faster than us.

Coming at a time when Dovizioso remains deep in negotiations with Ducati over a 2021 MotoGP deal, Dovizioso was nonetheless pleased to get his season off to a positive start around an unfavourable circuit, even if they will be returning to Jerez next weekend too.

“We have to improve, I think it is good to have another race because you have a lot of feedback from this race to understand the electronics and the tyres, but we have to make a step on speed.

“I am interested to see at a different track how we work because in Malaysia and Qatar we struggle a little bit, so let’s see what a good track for us in Brno and Austria if it will be similar as last year or if it is different but in the end the podium here is a good result for me and for us.”