Andrea Dovizioso accepts this could be a make-or-break weekend for him in the 2020 MotoGP World Championship title fight after a gruelling Motorland Aragon fraught with issues on the Ducati and in-fighting between himself and Danilo Petrucci.

On a sobering weekend for the Borgo Panigale crew, all six Ducati riders failed to make it through to Q2 directly, while Dovizioso - its only realistic title contender - was dumped out of Q1 by team-mate Petrucci after he was specifically targeted by his fellow Italian for a tow.

Though Dovizioso got his own back in some sense by ascending the order to finish as the highest-placed Ducati rider in seventh - even closing the gap down to the top slightly due to Fabio Quartararo’s troubles - he admits he needs to find more speed if he is to have a good chance to fight over the remaining three events.

“It is very important [the race], for sure,” he said. “Even more because there are only four races remaining and the points aren’t too big but we need to gain some points if we want to fight for the championship. 

“We know how difficult it will be this weekend because everyone will be faster, so to be in the top ten in FP will be very difficult but at the end I think we can be faster than last week and the weather looks like it will be better. 

“We will be focused to try and start on the first two rows, it will make a big difference because everyone is struggling with the tyre.”

Reflecting on the team orders debacle a week ago, Dovizioso says he doesn’t expect any changes to be made but was pleased to hear that Pecco Bagnaia would do his bit to help him win the title if it came to it.

“Nothing in this moment, we haven’t spoken about it. Everything is the same. If he [Bagnaia] says that then I am happy but no-one has spoken to me about this. I am focused about my speed, which we need to improve and then we will see.”

Despite his title contender status, Dovizioso remains without a ride for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.

 

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