Factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso says he is excited at the prospect of renewing his rivalry with British rider Cal Crutchlow in 2014.
Crutchlow’s decision to switch to a factory Desmosedici next season will see the 27-year-old reunited with Italian Dovizioso after they rode next to each other in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad in 2012.
Dovizioso has become the latest big name to toil on the unforgiving Desmosedici and he has only scored two top six finishes in the opening nine races of the campaign.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Indianapolis round in America, Dovizioso said: “First I want to say it was nice to be Nicky’s teammate and we did a good battle until now and I think it will be a good battle until the end of the season.
"He is a good guy but I am also happy for the arrival of Cal. He was my teammate last year and I have a good relationship with him. He made a small step with his speed again this year, so he will come next year stronger than what I saw last year.
"It will be nice to fight together and it is also good to have more feedback from different riders. I don’t think it will make a difference for development because it is quite clear our limit. But I am happy about his decision.
"I spoke with him and he seems really determined for next year and if he believes in that then he is right.”
When on identical YZR-M1 machinery last season, Dovizioso scored four more podiums and finished three places higher up the rankings with 67-points more than Crutchlow.
But Crutchlow is confident their battle will be much closer in 2014 when they are charged with the task of making the Ducati more competitive against the dominant Honda RC213V and Yamaha YZR-M1.
In a recent exclusive interview with MCN after he signed a two-year deal with Ducati, Crutchlow said: “Ducati wants to build a team around me and I look forward to competing with Dovi again. People will say he beat me a lot last season so why would I take him on again?
"I was always faster than Dovi at every meeting but I just never put it together. He had a lot more experience and I believe if he was in the same team as me this year I’d be a long way up the road.”