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By Ducati Team

Dovizioso: "We’re ready to fight things out"

Ten years after Stoner took the crown in red, the Italian aims to do the same - beginning with Motegi

“Motegi is a special circuit,” says Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso. “One of my favourites, because you have to brake very hard.”

Dovizioso's Championship charge

After a more difficult Aragon GP that saw key rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) extend his advantage at the top to 16 points, the hard braking and accelerating of the Twin Ring Motegi can’t come soon enough for ‘DesmoDovi’. With four races and 100 points remaining to 2017, the fight is far from over. But now, every single race could tip the scales dramatically – something he’s very aware of. “The next four races will be vitally important in the battle for the title,” affirms the Italian. “We’re ready to fight things out right until the very end.”

Dovizioso and the Desmosedici have been impressive all year, something borne out by the stats: the Italian is the first Ducati rider to have scored more than 200 points in a season since Casey Stoner in 2010. Stoner, now a test rider for the Borgo Panigale factory, is also the first and most recent World Champion on the red machine, taking the crown in 2007.

Stoner wins championship in Japan

Since then, a decade has passed and that decade has seen some incredible highs and lows for the mythical Italian marque, with many of those highs coming this season. Already having won four races, Dovizioso has led the Championship, won from the front, dueled on the last lap – and finished every race but one. Now it’s crunch time in the title fight, and ahead of the Japanese GP the Italian is optimistic.

Highlights: Dovi wins last-corner thriller against Marquez

“I’m pretty confident,” says Dovizioso. “I’ve always scored good results at Motegi in MotoGP, twice taking pole and finishing second last year. I feel sure that we can be up amongst the frontrunners once again on this track.” A win in the 125 World Championship in 2004 on the way to the title and more podium finishes in the lower categories add to Dovizioso’s good record at the venue in MotoGP™, so the odds would seemingly agree.

Ducati have had four wins at Motegi, the last of which was with Stoner in 2010. Last year ‘DesmoDovi’ put the Borgo Panigale factory back on the box for the first time since then, but in second. This season he’ll be pushing to go one better.