Dovizioso hits 200 as Hayden remains realistic

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Andrea Dovizioso will celebrate his 200th career Grand Prix start as MotoGP™ returns to MotorLand Aragon this weekend.

The 125 World Champion of 2004, Dovizioso would lose out twice to Jorge Lorenzo in the 250 ranks before making his premier class debut with JiR Team Scot MotoGP in 2008. His first and so far only win would come a year later, for Repsol Honda Team at Donington Park, although during his time in MotoGP™ the Italian has already ridden Honda, Yamaha and Ducati bikes. He now returns to Aragon: scene of his last podium finish, with Monster Yamaha Tech3 last season.

“I don’t know if Aragon will suit us better than Misano,” Dovizioso begins. “For me, this year it’s always new and at every track the Ducati works in a different way. I don’t know what we can expect but normally Aragon is quite a good race for Ducati.

“I really didn’t know that I would be reaching the milestone of 200 GPs at Aragon! It’s really nice to do a lot of races in the World Championship and it’s something really important for the rider. When I was young, for me it was impossible to think about being a part of the World Championship, so I’m really happy to have reached this milestone but it also means that I’m getting quite old!”

For teammate Nicky Hayden, he can recall the Aragon podium finish he achieved at the inaugural MotorLand event in 2010, but knows that a repetition is unlikely.

“Aragon is definitely quite a bit different from Misano, the last track we raced at, as it goes left and has some elevation changes,” begins the 2006 World Champion. “It’s a fun track that has some nice corners, although it has gotten pretty bumpy since the first year we went there and had great results with the Ducati which hasn’t helped us.

“It’s a track I enjoy, but we know that it’s not going to be an easy race for us. Still, I’m looking forward to going there. We’ll try to start the weekend strong and see if we can do something better than we have at the last few races.”

Whereas Dovizioso finished last year’s race third for Tech3, Hayden would fail to see the chequered flag as he retired from proceedings in the early stages.

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