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Dovizioso: “We aren’t very far away”

Championship contender third on Day 1 – but says it’s not enough to challenge Repsol Honda as yet

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was third quickest on Day 1 at Valencia, and the Italian says he’s happy enough after the first day of work despite not yet feeling 100% on the bike. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo went quickest in a good showing of form for the Borgo Panigale factory, but ‘DesmoDovi’ says there is more to find.

“I’m happy, but the feeling isn’t 100%,” explains the Italian. “We have to work in a few areas because I don’t feel 100%. I’m not so smooth riding and that’s very important on this track for the race. The speed is quite good but it’s not enough. Fortunately, we have tomorrow and practice to work on that.”

Dovizioso: "Marquez' pace is a different level"

More practice time – with the weather looking stable – comes on Saturday, before qualifying and then the #FinalShowdown. The race is a must-win for the Borgo Panigale factory rider if he is to take the crown, as he arrives with a 21-point deficit to Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). The rider from Forli says they must find more on Day 2 to challenge the two Honda riders on pace.

“We have to be very focused and understand what we have to do,” says Dovizioso. “Ducati pace is not bad but the pace of Marc and Dani at the moment is on another level – so that’s why I think what we did today isn’t enough. But we aren’t very far away, so we’ll keep working.”

Two more practice sessions, qualifying and then Warm Up remain before the lights go out – with history at stake for either of the challengers.

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