Dovi ahead of his 2017 points tally – despite a 0 in Jerez

The Italian takes the positives, and there really are a good few…

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) didn’t have the end to Jerez he was looking for after THAT crash with teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa, but looking past the incident, the Italian sees some big positives from the weekend.

“I’m very happy about the speed we showed, I didn’t expect it and I’m very happy about that thinking about the Championship,” begins the 2017 runner up, who had a more difficult run in Texas and Argentina following his stunning win in Qatar. “I think if we confirm this speed, we have a lot of races to gain points. It’s bad to have 20 points in your hand and then go home with zero but we have to take the positives.”

It certainly was an expensive day in the Championship, but as well as the speed, the Italian is still up on the points total he had this time last year – before he’d emerged as Marquez’ biggest title rival. So what of that leap forward? For ‘DesmoDovi’ – who struggled on Friday and even found himself heading for Q1 alongside Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in a very high-profile duo – the turnaround was huge. “We struggled until Saturday morning and we were very far off, almost seven tenths off the fastest. And then we almost won.”

Looking ahead, will that become the bigger headline as the season rolls on – and leave the race incident in its shadow? After the huge improvements, Dovizioso has some fighting talk.

“The last two races we had bad speed, in Jerez we showed really good speed. But there’s always a reason why. Now we’re faster we can fight, but we have to study it and understand exactly why this has happened in the last two races and here…but I’m sure after this speed we showed today, a lot of competitors will be afraid.”

Le Mans welcomes the paddock from Friday 18th May.