MotoGP: Dovizioso relishing Lorenzo challenge

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Andrea Dovizioso says he’s relishing the challenge of lining up alongside new teammate Jorge Lorenzo on the factory Ducati GP17 machine come Qatar, keen not only to measure himself against the three-time MotoGP champion but also to learn and improve off him.

Successful himself last season by taking his maiden win for Ducati, the Italian says that despite knowing that there’s a big challenge ahead of him, he can’t wait to get started.

“It’ll be a big challenge comparing myself to Jorge, and I know it’ll be difficult because I know him very well. But I think I’m in a good situation with my career, despite being 30 years old, and I’m excited about the challenge. I might be 30, but I can still learn from everyone, especially Jorge. For sure he has a different attitude and a different approach to the weekend, but I’m open and ready to analyse him, to study him and to improve. I think everyone has a margin to improve and I still have room to improve.”

He’s even more excited, however, by the significance of seeing a proven title winner like Lorenzo replacing Andrea Iannone on the team’s other machine, thanks to the vote of confidence it shows in the potential of both the bike and team boss Gigi Dall’Igna from Lorenzo.

“Our goal is to challenge for the podium every weekend, but I’m still not 100% convinced that it’ll happen. It’s something special to really fight for it every weekend that we’re missing, and although it’s very small it’s still missing. The engineers have worked a lot through the winter, and Gigi has a lot of things ready to try and improve in every area from Malaysia.

“That’s why I’m confident that we can fight for the podium more, because the effort is more. Gigi took a big risk and brought Jorge here, and that’s a challenge because for sure he expects to win. But it’s nice to see Gigi with this confidence, because it means that he believes in the project, in his engineers and in his riders. We’re missing something but it’s not impossible to get it.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer