A year has passed, but the image of Dovizioso celebrating his win with the Ducati at Mugello is impressed on the mind of all his fans. That was his first win of 2017 and from there his title chase really took off and was set to continue all the way to Valencia.
it was an all-Italian weekend that Dovi would like to repeat, particularly after the last two races, which haven't gone as expected. The results mean he now lies 49 points behind Marquez and needs to reduce that gap as quickly as possible if he wants to keep his hopes alive.
No easy feat considering that Marc was the quickest on track during the recent tests, but Andrea and his Desmosedici have a few cards to play.
“It’s difficult to make any predictions for the Italian GP, because this year every race is different, but even though our chief rivals were very quick in the test a couple of weeks back, we have shown that we are always fast in the race and for sure we will be competitive at Mugello. Last year Petrucci and I made all the difference in staying up at the front and I’m very confident because this year we have shown that we are fast on almost every track. It’s a pity about all the points we’ve lost in the last two races, but it’s best not to think about it because there is still a long way to go in the championship.”
Jorge Lorenzo has won 5 of the last 7 editions of the Italian GP, but he did so with the Yamaha. The situation with the red bike is far more complicated, but the Majorcan is keen to demonstrate that all is not lost and that there is still time to obtain some strong results.
“I come to the Italian GP with a lot of enthusiasm to score a good result that confirms the right direction in which we’ve been working recently. We are not far away from fighting for the podium, and we only need another little step forward to be really competitive: I think that we can do it at Mugello. Last week’s Barcelona test went really well and we’ll have something new here to improve the ergonomics of my bike, which I think can help me be more consistent throughout the race. Mugello is a special place, one of my favourite circuits and I’ve got a lot of great memories at this track. I’m ready and really excited about this weekend.”
For its home GP, Ducati will also field Michele Pirro, his first wildcard entry of the season. The Italian test rider is excited to brush off the cobwebs and has already proved that he is able to score strong results when he gets the chance.
“Finally, after many months, the moment has come for me to get out on track in MotoGP: racing in this championship is what I like most doing and as always I’d like to thank Ducati for giving me the opportunity to race with the third factory bike here at Mugello. It will be a very important race for us, from all points of view, and so I’ll be trying to do my best and give maximum support to the team, also regarding feedback of information. I’m really pleased and can’t wait to take to the track, because it’s always really emotional to race in front of your home crowd and the Ducati fans.”