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200 up: Dovi aiming to maintain title lead in Jerez

The Championship leader will start his 200th premier class Grand Prix this weekend, but will it be a milestone to remember?

Current World Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) will embark on his 200th premier class race on Sunday at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España.

Dovi: from 13th on the grid to leading the Championship

The Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Italian in the past though, with a fifth place finish in 2017, 2014 and 2012 his best results in the MotoGP™ class to date - Jerez being the only venue on the calendar where he’s failed to finish on the podium at in the premier class.

Dovi has achieved a podium twice at Jerez in his racing career though, two third place finishes on a 250cc Honda machine in 2006 and 2007 are his top scores in the Andalucian hills. So, can he change his Jerez mishaps around this weekend?

Last season’s three-rider pileup with then-teammate Jorge Lorenzo and three-time World Champion Dani Pedrosa prematurely ended a race which looked like it had a Dovi podium written all over it. It was one of the three European DNFs the number 04 tallied as a Championship challenge slipped from his grasp last season, and with the number one spot in the standings currently occupied by Dovizioso after Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) failed to finish in Austin, he’ll be wanting to avoid a repeat of 2018 in southern Spain.

It’s probably fair to say it wouldn’t be Dovi’s first choice of track if he were to choose where to celebrate his 200th MotoGP™ race. The 33-year-old has never missed a race and has never stood on the podium at Jerez in the top class, he’ll be aiming to change the latter and gallop to victory on Sunday.

Dovizioso: “We arrive at Jerez as leaders but more than the points, I am satisfied with the sensations we have had in these first three races of the season, our competitiveness and growth have allowed us to defend ourselves on tracks that historically have been difficult for us, but there are even more strong riders with options to fight for the podium and the World Championship has just started, I think we can do even better in Jerez than in the past and already last year in the race we showed that we made steps forward. and continue working in evolution to fight on all the tracks.”

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