NEW SERIES LEADER DOVI IN IT TO WIN IT
Andrea Dovizioso has admitted for the first time that he has to consider himself a challenger for the Motogp crown, after a damage limitation performance at a track that hasn’t suited the Ducati in the past left him four points clear of Maverick Viñales.
Despite taking stunning back-toback wins at home in Mugello and then again only seven days later in Spain, Dovi has up until now played down his chances of winning the championship, arguing that the Ducati is still far from a complete package.
But, speaking after Sunday’s fifth place left him the first Ducati rider to lead the championship since Casey Stoner back in 2009, he conceded that he now has a better chance than before, even if that won’t change how he approaches the rest of the season.
He said: “I always race to think about the championship – even when I’m fighting for sixth place I don’t do crazy things during the races. The fast riders in the championship always race thinking about it a little bit, so I don’t think I have to change that about my approach. On Sunday, it was tricky conditions and there was no reason to crash, because like last year it’s so important not to make a zero.
“For sure though, we’ve confirmed in the last two races before Assen that we can fight, and that’s good for the motivation and for the confidence in the next races and for the rest of the year.”
And the Italian demonstrated both his confidence and his caution in Assen, by first making a strong charge through the field until he found the limit of his confidence, and then settling for fifth and valuable championship points.
“It was a really nice race, even if it was really strange, but making a mistake in qualifying complicated things and meant I couldn’t go with the leading group. I wasn’t smooth enough to be fast. But I learned what I needed to do and was able to change how I was riding, and after I did I was the fastest person in the race.”
‘I always think about the standings – I don’t do crazy things’ ANDREA DOVIZIOSO