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Mission Winnow Ducati arrive at their home round in Mugello with contrasting emotions. Yes, they finished second and third last time out in Le Mans, leaving Andrea Dovizioso just eight points adrift of the championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), but not since the opening round of the year at Qatar has a factory Ducati managed to get in front of Marquez, a fact Desmo Dovi is all too aware of.
From Borgo Panigale to Mugello via the amazing Futa Pass
Prior to this weekend’s Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, Dovi said that the French GP result was “very positive” but he asserted that both himself and the Bologna factory “still want more”. The Italian will line-up for this 300th Grands Prix appearance this weekend, knowing a second victory at Mugello in three years would be massive for his championship credentials. Plus, just like we saw in France, he’s got a teammate in his corner more than capable of fighting at the front and stealing further points away from the Spaniard.
"Arriving in Mugello after a result like Le Mans, with three Ducati in the first four positions, is very positive but we still want more,” said Dovizioso. “This is our home race and I think we will be competitive and fast, so our main objective will be the podium again. As we have seen in the first races this year, our rivals are also very strong, so it is very difficult to make predictions.”
Andrea Dovizioso all set to make his 300th start at Mugello
The 33-year-old enters this weekend an impressive 41 points better off than he was at this stage of last season, but he’s far from content after the imperious form Marquez has shown: “For our part we are not satisfied with the results we have achieved so far, and we will continue to do our best, analysing the data and working to understand where we can improve. I hope the weather is good, because I have great expectations this weekend.”
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the garage, Danilo Petrucci heads to his home round riding the crest of a wave after appearing to refind his form in France. The Italian bagged a best qualifying result onboard the factory machine before then securing a first podium finish in a calendar year.
Petrucci pleased to return to the podium after dry spell
“I always have a good feeling when it's time to race in Mugello. I am very happy because I will race at home on my favourite circuit, a track where also the Desmosedici GP can be squeezed to the maximum, as has been seen in recent years.
“This weekend is a good opportunity to do well and I am really happy to get here after the Le Mans podium, a result that has given me confidence. Both me and my team arrived with great enthusiasm and with the aim of fighting once again for the top positions.”