Andrea Dovizioso was once again keeping very coy about his MotoGP future as his protracted contract discussions with Ducati rumble on ahead of what will be three crucial events for both rider and team.

The Italian picked up a solid haul of points – including a podium – during the opening two races in Jerez, a circuit not considered terribly favourable towards the Desmosedici, even if the man himself hasn’t waxed lyrical about the general competitiveness of the GP20.

Moving on to Brno, Dovizioso is expected to be a much stronger force both in the Czech Republic and the following two races at the Red Bull Ring, where he has enjoyed significant success with Ducati in recent years.

However, he says the indifferent feeling on the GP20 means he cannot come into the weekend feeling wholly confident and admits Brno will prove whether he has the machinery to come good on a MotoGP title challenge, especially in the absence of Marc Marquez.

“I can’t be too happy about my ride in Jerez but the points in the championship is not too bad,” he said. “I’m happy to be in Brno, it will be a better track for us, but it will be very important to fix my weak points. We studied a lot this week to try and be ready for this weekend and we will see during the practice because on the bike you can feel if you make some changes.

“For sure, there is an opportunity for everybody. Marc won a lot of titles and is out for these races but every year there is a different story and the first two races suggests the two Yamaha riders are stronger than everybody. But that was in Jerez in hot temperatures so this season is still long with different tracks and temperatures.”

The tempered expectation comes against the backdrop of wrangling over Dovizioso’s contract, with Ducati intimating it will be willing to submit to the Italian’s terms if he can bring home strong results over the next three races.

With Pecco Bagnaia’s strong showing in Jerez elevating his status as a possible replacement for Dovizioso should he and Ducati not come to an agreement, the triple vice-champion was nonetheless refusing to be drawn on any progress between the two parties.

“The next races it will be important for the championship because we’re at a good track for us and the result always affects the future. I don’t know about my future in this moment, I know what I want but now I am focused on races.”

In one of the lighter moments of the press conference, a question was directed at both Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi regarding the other’s ongoing discussions for the 2021 MotoGP season, the latter of course still yet to formally announce a Petronas SRT Yamaha switch.

However, for Rossi – who like others endured a fractious relationship with Ducati management in 2011 and 2012 – he says he hopes to see Dovi stay in red for 2021 because of the success they have forged together.

“Sometimes we see during the past, it is difficult the relationship between the riders and Ducati. When I was there in 2011 and 2012 it was not easy, so I think for this reason they still don’t arrive at the contract but I hope for both that they continue together because in the last few years Dovi and Ducati make a great team.”

 

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