Andrea Dovizioso wants 2009 title tilt

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Italian Andrea Dovizioso is confident he can threaten Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi’s recent domination of the MotoGP world championship when the new MotoGP season kicks off in Qatar next month.

The new factory Honda rider believes his switch to the Repsol squad will help him become a title threat, even though he has yet to win a premier class race.

Speaking at the launch of the Repsol Honda team in Madrid last weekend, the former world 125 champion said: “Becoming an official rider in the Repsol Honda Team is a dream come true for me.

“It is a great experience and an incredible challenge, something I have already had a chance to see in the pre-season practice sessions. I am very pleased to be in Madrid for the presentation of the Repsol Honda team, and from now on I will do all I can to fight for the world title.”

Dovizioso though has admitted that being part of Honda’s factory team has increased the pressure on him to deliver. One of the biggest changes for him to adapt to is the chance to have direct input into the development of the 2009 RC212V.

He added: “Being in the official team means that you carry more responsibility, now I have to help develop the motorcycle and this quite a complex task in MotoGP.

“All I did before was to ride and go as fast as possible, refining the setup, but now I also have to think about how the bike behaves so that its overall performance can be improved.

“The bike has improved as the engine power is more manageable and the chassis we are using really helped us with the feeling that the front end transmits to us, it now leans over better.”

Dovizioso finished fifth in his rookie campaign in 2008 and proved himself to be one of the most consistent in the championship. He claimed one podium finish in Sepang.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt