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Dovizioso: “We’ll be readier next year”

P2 in the Championship was confirmed for the Italian after Rossi crashes out at Sepang, but he vows Ducati will be stronger in 2019

P6 at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix wasn’t the result Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) would have been looking for after showing strong pace throughout practice.

Nonetheless, it was a result that meant Dovi would finish second in the Championship for a second consecutive year, with main Championship threat Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) crashing out of the lead in Malaysia. But why did Dovi struggle on Sunday afternoon?

“From the beginning I couldn’t brake, I couldn’t make the speed in the middle of the corners, so I couldn’t really make a good lap time,” began the Italian. “Friday and Saturday my speed with the used tyre was good. The condition was a bit different; it was a bit hotter because with the sun, but I don’t know.

“We don’t know. We have to study, keep calm, but I’m really happy to ride this kind of race because it can show some limits and it will be very important to know this before the winter because, during the test and during the weekend, our speed is always good, but during the race is always different and, so, we have to analyse and understand because that’s what we need.”

Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix: MotoGP™ Full Race

Despite the issues, the aforementioned P2 in the Championship was sealed. But what does ‘DesmoDovi’ think of his season in general? “I’m really happy to confirm the second position. Valentino did an incredible race today. The speed was incredible. But he made a mistake, so we arrive mathematically second in the Championship, so I’m happy,” explained the number 04 rider.

He continues, admitting that he’s suffered too many DNFs this season, however the second half of the season has been a massive positive: “We had too many zeros during the season, but in the end – from Brno to now – we gained a lot of points because we got a lot of speed and I’m really happy in the way we working during the season. At the moment, Marc is a bit faster than us, so we have to continue to work, like have done this year, and we’ll be readier next year.

“I think from what happened in Phillip Island, what happened during the second half of the season and what happened today, we have a lot of feedback and data to work on that and to try to be readier next year.”

FREE: So close but so far... Rossi falls out of first at T1!

There’s certainly no denying that Ducati are a force to be reckoned with at each of the circuits on the calendar. There’s one race to go before pre-season for 2019 begins, so can Dovi and Ducati confirm their speed once more in 2018 as they tackle the tight and twisty Valencia? 

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