MotoGP: Ducati duo out to win in Qatar

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The Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo are both aiming for the same goal this weekend at the opening round of the 2018 MotoGP championship – nothing short of kicking off their season with a win.

Dovizioso looks like a favourite for the weekend’s race as well, finishing the final pre-season test at the Losail circuit by building on a strong performance that’s spanned from the middle of the 2017 season right until now – and the fact that their bike works well at the track is the icing on the cake for him.

“I’m actually very satisfied with the feeling that I have reached with the Desmosedici GP18 during the last three test sessions: we have always been very quick and I’m happy with the work done in Ducati over the winter. At Losail our bike has always worked well and this year it seems it’s going even better, so I’m very confident for the first GP of the season.

“We still have to improve some aspects for the race and a lot will depend on the conditions we will find during the weekend, because in Qatar things can change rapidly, but I believe I have the right experience to manage every situation. This year there are many very quick and competitive riders and I know the strong points of our bike as well as the aspects we still have to improve, but I’m very focussed and ready to start the season in a great way.”

However, he isn’t the only confident rider in the team, with a stunning testing performance eat the Sepang circuit (and the absolute lap record to boot) meaning that Lorenzo is going into the championship race feeling more confident than ever before on the Ducati.

“Finally the championship is about to start! It’s the moment of truth, and as always the appointment in Qatar will be special because racing a MotoGP bike at night is something unique. During the last two tests, we have had some good and some difficult moments, but we must remain positive and follow the same direction as the Sepang tests. The bike has a lot of potential and we must concentrate on finding a setting that adapts better to my riding style, in order to be competitive right from the first practice sessions.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer