Andrea Dovizioso targets podium return before end of season

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Andrea Dovizioso’s main target in the final five races of 2014 is to add to his two podium finishes on Ducati’s improving Desmosedici.

The experienced Italian has finished on the podium in Austin and Assen and in the last two races in Silverstone and Misano has fought right down to the wire for a return to the rostrum.

In Silverstone, Dovizioso finished right behind Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa after a race long duel for third. And last time out at his home race in Misano, Dovizioso battled for third against former Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa after producing more heroics on Ducati’s GP14.

Dovizioso said his focus for the final part of the season will be to keep himself in podium contention, but he admits it will be difficult to maintain his current threat.
Speaking exclusively to MCN, Dovizioso said: “The main target is to repeat and not make better. We still are not fast enough to stay at the front and we are not close like everybody has seen in the last two races, so if we improve a little maybe we can be there. But we are still too far away. I am really happy with the improvements we made during the season because I didn’t expect it to be like this. This is positive but we don’t have to forget that we are still far away. The best target is to finish the season consistent and we can make another podium because fortunately anything can happen in the race. But the reality is the first four are really in a different level.”

Dovizioso will be hoping Gigi Dall’Igna’s first significant upgrade for the Desmosedici will bolster his hopes of a podium threat in the final five races.

Ducati is due to roll out a new engine and chassis for this weekend’s Motorland Aragon clash in Spain, which is aimed at lessening some of the long standing understeer issues that have blighted the Desmosedici project in recent years.

But Dovizioso isn’t sure the bike, which is an interim update in advance of an all-new GP15 project that will be rolled out next February in Malaysia, will make him much more competitive.

The former 125GP world champion said: “I am interested to see but I don’t think it will be a big step forward. When you have something new it doesn’t mean you have something better. But I believe in this project and what Gigi will bring. To be closer to the front we need different things.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt