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By Ducati Team

Dovizioso: "I thought about the Championship"

A top five finish sees the Ducati rider heading the standings - and playing the long game

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) is still in dreamland in the aftermath of the Motul TT Assen, as the Italian followed up his back to back wins at Mugello and Catalunya by crossing the line in fifth at Assen with another impressive performance. A win it may not have been - but the rider from Forli is now heading the standings as the paddock head for Germany, after previous points leader Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) crashed out.

Remaining a determined realist and previously playing his position down, 'DesmoDovi' kept an eye on the long game at Assen. Because now, he is thinking about the Championship...

Andrea Dovizioso, P5: "I’m really happy about the race, but I didn’t have the perfect feeling and I couldn’t catch the front group. I was quite far in the middle of the race and I saw Maverick was behind me so I tried to use his line in the only lap I was behind him, to try and understand where I was able to improve. Fortunately, when he crashed I didn’t hit him, but I was very, very close, but that lap was enough for me to understand. I thought for a few seconds I might be the Championshiperleader when Viñales crashed, but I couldn’t make the right number, however I thought there was a chance.

"I was really competitive in the middle of the race and I was fastest at that point, so that is really important for us and our Championship, and at the end I was able to catch them. Even when it started to rain I could catch the first group, but 10 laps to the end it started to rain heavily and I thought about the Championship at that point. It was important for us to understand if it was wet or not in the corners, so it wasn’t under control and I decided to slow down a little bit. When you have to do eight laps with light rain, it’s so easy to make a mistake and the tyre dropped a lot during the last 10 laps, so it was very difficult to understand the limit of the tyre and whether it was the limit of the tyre or its mixture with the wet.I’m not happy about fifth position; I was able to fight for third and I had the speed, but the battle with Cal and Marc was crazy and I couldn’t manage it. I thought about the race and the championship, and now we are leading, so I'm happy. For me, but especially for the team.

"Sachsenring isn't the best track for us, but there is new asphalt, which is very interesting and is new for everybody and will affect the weekend a lot. We’re going there first in the Championship, which is really positive, and we will try to manage the weekend like in the last three."