Andrea Dovizioso and team-mate Danilo Petrucci will take part in their final home Italian races for Ducati at Misano this weekend.

For Dovizioso, further success at the scene of his very first road racing victory back in 2000 could well propel him into the world championship lead, having closed to within three points of Fabio Quartararo.

But Dovizioso remains uneasy at the lack of consistency this season, his results swinging between a low of eleventh in Brno and victory in Austria.

The #4 feels there is still much to understand about the new Michelin rear tyre construction, while the recent Misano resurfacing adds another variable into the equation.

"We have a lot of expectations from these two consecutive Grands Prix at Misano circuit: we are very determined to return fighting for the podium, but first, it will be crucial to understand the new conditions of the track, since it has been recently resurfaced," said Dovizioso, a Misano winner in 2018 and sixth last season.

"At the end of June, Michele Pirro took part in a test here in Misano, and he managed to have good lap times, and this makes us quite confident.

"Apart from the two races, we will also have a day of testing on 15th September, between the two Grands Prix. It will be important to make the most of this opportunity."

Dovizioso, a Ducati rider since 2013, is yet to announce his future plans after revealing he won't continue at the team next season.

Meanwhile, Petrucci already has a 2021 Tech3 KTM contract in his pocket, but his immediate concern will be finding a competitive set-up on the GP20.

The Italian - who joined Ducati in 2015, working his way through the ranks to the factory team in 2019 – is currently just 14th in the championship after struggling with braking stability with the new rear tyre.

"I'm definitely not happy with how my Championship has gone so far, but these weeks of break have allowed me to relax and find the right serenity and concentration to be able to face the next race weekends," said Petrucci, who stood on the Misano podium for Pramac in 2017.

"Misano circuit has been resurfaced, and the new conditions could prove to be a factor in our favour since last year we struggled a lot due to the lack of grip. I can't wait to get back on my bike at our home race."

Jack Miller is confirmed as joining the Official Ducati team next season, with Francesco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco now appearing to be in a head-to-head contest for the other factory seat.

While a decision was previously expected during the back-to-back Misano weekends, it now appears Ducati wants to wait and see who emerges as the strongest candidate.

 

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