Italian Andrea Dovizioso believes he has the potential to fight the likes of Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi for the 2015 MotoGP world championship crown.
The former 125GP world champion made the bold statement after impressing during the recent Sepang MotoGP test session in Malaysia.
Riding an updated GP14.3 Desmosedici, Dovizioso was fast and competitive, as was new teammate Andrea Iannone, who impressed by finishing third fastest behind Repsol Honda duo Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.
Ducati unveiled its radical new GP15 Desmosedici in Italy earlier today, with the bike featuring a new engine position, totally new chassis, a new exhaust routing and bodywork.
This is the bike the Bologna factory is banking on challenging Honda and Yamaha in 2015, and Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna revealed this morning that the main target is to win at least one race this season.
Ducati last won in the premier class when Casey Stoner triumphed in front of his home crowd at Phillip Island in 2010.
But Doviziozo has big expectations of 2015 ahead of his first test on the all-new Desmosedici in Malaysia next week.
Dovizioso, who scored podiums in Austin and Assen last season, spoke exclusively to MCN recently and said: “I'm waiting for the new bike in the next test and it will be very different and I'm really excited about the new project though. I always said I never expected us to improve as much as we did last year and before that I never believed that we could fight for a title. But with the improvements last year I now believe that we could fight for the championship. It doesn't mean that we will this year because we have to try the new bike and the competitors are really quick. When you change something big like with the new bike anything can happen.”
When asked in which area he hoped the GP15 was most improved, it was no surprise to hear Dovizioso indicate understeer.
He added: “Always the turning. We have to work in a few areas but the turning is the key point. If from the beginning the turning will be better then it will be easier to improve all the small things in all areas of the bike."