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Upbeat Dovizioso raring to go at round one

Upbeat Dovizioso raring to go at round one

Being given a big break this year on factory machinery Andrea Dovizioso is aiming to make the most of his improved package, as the 2009 season commences.

Last year in MotoGP Andrea Dovizioso was a breath of fresh air, finishing as the highest non-factory rider in fifth place, after a highly consistent premier class debut campaign with JiR Team Scot.

He goes into his second season in MotoGP - and this weekend’s first race of the year at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar - as a Repsol Honda rider, having been ‘promoted’ by HRC in recognition of his loyalty and hard work.

Winter testing has not been easy for the Italian youngster as he has adapted to riding on Bridgestone tyres and taken on the burden of extra responsibility which comes with being a factory rider. Furthermore his new team-mate Dani Pedrosa has missed a significant amount of preseason testing due to injury, putting more pressure on Dovizioso and his new crew chief Pete Benson to get the RC212V ‘race ready’ for 2009.

Former 125cc World Champion made a spectacular MotoGP entrance last year when he qualified ninth and finished fourth in Qatar, beating his illustrious compatriot Valentino Rossi in the process.

Having finally achieved his first podium of the year in third place at the penultimate round of 2008 at Sepang, Dovizioso finished strongly with another fourth place in Valencia at the end of last season - and he will be keen to continue that sort of form at the beginning of this year.

“I’m really looking forward to the start of the season,” he states. “This was my first winter as a factory Honda tester and it was an exciting experience to be in the full works squad. Now the preparation is over and we’re going racing.”

“I like racing in Qatar, and riding under the floodlights at night is very special. It has an amazing, unique atmosphere and the layout of the track is different from the other circuits, in particular the turns are very long and it is not easy to go at high speeds on the corners. Still, I have always had good results in Qatar and last year, at my debut in MotoGP, I had a fantastic race.”

Commenting on his seventh place finish in the BMW M Award at the Official MotoGP Test in southern Spain which completed the 2009 preseason, he added, “At the last test in Jerez our machine had improved compared to the previous test we did in Qatar at the beginning of March, so I’m confident for the first race of the season and I will be doing my best to fight up front.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2009, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team

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