There's no point beating about the bush, as he is one of the title contenders. Who are we talking about? Andrea Dovizioso, of course, who dreams of replicating his win of one year ago at Losail, when he got the better of Marc Marquez by just 0.027 of a second.
The Italian is excited ahead of the season-opener, despite the fact that it was Vinales on the M1 who stood out in the recent tests: "We worked positively and methodically during the winter break, and I'm confident we'll be ready to put up a fight from the very first round. The lap times from the tests, especially in Qatar, don't really show the whole picture since most riders mostly worked on race pace.
Dovizioso sees the glass half full: “As for us, we collected plenty of interesting data and we analyzed it into great detail to come up with the best possible strategy ahead of this round. We'll be able to assess our level and that of our opponents more in depth only once we take it back to the track, but what matters is that our feeling with the bike has been very good up to this point."
Still in the Ducati camp, it would be wrong to forget Danilo Petrucci, a rider who dreams of playing a starring role: “I'm happy with the way the tests went and ready to begin a new season. From the very first outing with the team, I've been trying to further optimize my approach, both physically and mentally, to make the most of this opportunity. I've also made some important changes to my training and dietary regimes, and I feel as ready as ever for the upcoming battle”.
Danilo cannot wait to get out on track: “We managed to be fast in each session during the winter tests, but in the end it's the race that matters, and that's usually a different story. We have a lot of competitive rivals, especially on this track given the recent tests done here: it won't be easy to put them behind us, but I'm confident we have some good cards up our sleeve."