Even though he didn't win the title, this was Dovizioso's year. Andrea surprised many, setting himself up as Marquez's only real rival and putting the Spaniard under significant pressure right to the final round. He has brought Ducati back to a level of success it had not experienced for a long while and, in doing so, has secured a place in the Borgo Panigale history books.
He was recently interviewed during the ExtraTime show on Italian RaiRadio1. An opportunity to speak about 2017 and the upcoming season, as well as a chance to hear about Dovi in the words of his friends and girlfriend Alessandra (click HERE to listen to the show in full - Italian language).
Now that he has taken that step up, the spotlight is on Andrea ahead of the 2018 season.
“I know how tough it is to win the world championship - he said - but we know the how and whys behind everything that we did well this year. I don't have any real doubts about the fact that I can fight again next year; there's a difference between fighting and winning though and we need to live in the moment”.
The 2 Ds, Dovi and Ducati, can now set out safe in the knowledge that they can compete on a level playing field.
“We have shown, with other riders too, that our bike has a good base, but that's not enough because our rivals are really strong, by this I mean both riders and bikes - he continues - With this base, if you work well and know the pros and cons of the bike, you can make the difference. I think we'll be in the running for the title next year. We're still missing a little something, but our rivals aren't completely sorted either”.
Andrea will no longer be an outsider.
“We needed this year's results, but they should have come sooner. Every rider expresses himself in a different way, it depends on the situation he's in, in terms of bike, team but particularly on a personal level”.
He then touches on his relationship with Valentino.
“I've never had a particularly close relationship with him unfortunately, not because we've had any problems, but because he's such a big personality and he's had to put up some barriers or his life would not be manageable - he observes - I think we could be friends as we both have a real passion for racing and for bikes. We're different in some ways, but not as different as some people might think”.
Lastly, he speaks about his other colleagues.
“The nicest guy is Crutchlow, then there are several who are not so nice but I'll keep those names to myself” he concludes with a smile.