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Dovizioso: “The target is to fight for the Championship”

Last year's runner up talks about the GP18, his goals for the year, and an awesome 2017 season

“It’s stunning,” says Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso of his new Desmosedici and livery. Taking to the stage at the Ducati Team 2018 presentation in Bologna to discuss the GP18, his goals for the season ahead and the incredible year he put together in 2017, the Championship challenger was full of positivity. “It’s so beautiful. Every bike I’ve been able to ride has been beautiful, but this has something different. We’ve added some grey, it’s even more aggressive and even more stunning.”

The spotlight remains on the Italian on the Italian bike as the new season appears on the horizon, and after six wins, numerous further podiums and a title challenge that went down to the wire in 2017, it’s easy to see why. Now, the scoreboard is reset to zero – but for ‘DesmoDovi’, last year will remain a pivotal one.

“It was a unique season,” affirms the now eight-time premier class winner. “I’ll never forget 2017, our fifth season together. There were some hardships at the beginning but it was even more beautiful last year to get those results towards the end of the season. We managed to raise emotions and enjoy the feelings from our fans.”

Those feelings, added to the foundations of such a stunning season, give the Italian a concrete goal for 2018: fight for the title from the off.

"We have to stay connected to reality. We can’t dream"

“We have to raise the bar day after day,” explains the rider from Forlimpopoli. “So the target we now have is fighting for the World Championship. It’s difficult so we have to be hands on, but we also have to stay connected to reality and we can’t dream. We have a lot of experience in MotoGP and we know how to work and where we have to improve. It’s not easy but it’s what we have to do – playing it like we did in 2017, but adding some power, and being more competitive in those races where we can be.”

Asked to give a message to fans towards the end of the presentation, Dovizioso kept it simple – thanking them for their support.

“We heard from the Ducatisti a lot last year,” he smiles, “especially when things went wrong or weren’t going as well, and I want to thank all of them for their support.”

He’ll be counting on the same again as he aims to repeat his incredible year and go one better, with the Sepang test at the end of January the first track action of the season before the first race in Qatar lights up Losail in March.

Ducati launches 2018 bike in Bologna