Andrea Iannone says he is relishing the challenge of trying to seize the number one spot at Ducati from fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso in 2015.
Iannone will join his compatriot in Ducati’s official factory squad next season after Cal Crutchlow switched to LCR Honda.
Briton Crutchlow initially pledged to honour the second year of his Desmosedici deal before landing a golden chance to replacing Stefan Bradl on a factory RC213V.
That gave a factory Ducati promotion to Iannone, who drastically improved his performances last year after a gruelling debut season in the premier class in 2013 while at Pramac Ducati.
Iannone finished 10th in the rankings with 11 top 10 finishes and he is hoping to challenge Dovizioso, who was the standout Ducati rider last season.
Dovizioso scored two podiums and five front row starts and finished fifth in the rankings, with only Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa finishing higher in the standings.
And Iannone says he can’t wait to lock horns with former 125GP world champion Dovizioso from the opposite side of the factory Ducati garage.
The 25-year-old told MCN: “I am really looking forward to it because I have a good feeling with Andrea. He is a very strong rider and it will not be so easy to be faster than him. It will be a good battle and good for both of us because I want to beat him and he will want to be faster than me.”