New MotoGP points leader Andrea Dovizioso believes his Ducati team can now be competitive at every track, having shown itself capable of winning in each of the last three races.
A fifth place finish in last weekend’s Dutch TT at Assen moved Dovizioso to the head of the championship standings, as previous leader Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales crashed out.
It followed Dovizioso’s back-to-back wins at Mugello and Barcelona, and while the Italian fell short of fighting for a hat-trick, the satellite GP17 of Danilo Petrucci came within 0.063s of denying Valentino Rossi victory.
The fact the Assen race was held in cool, damp conditions – a marked contrast to the soaring temperatures of Barcelona – makes Dovizioso confident that Ducati no longer has to worry about being uncompetitive at certain tracks.
“What we confirmed in the last three races is that we are competitive in three completely different conditions,” he said. “But every weekend is really a different story.
“[Sachsenring] is a different track, which is not normally the best for us, and there is a different asphalt. But you can look at this also in a positive way, because every time, anything is possible.
“So I’m going into the weekend so relaxed and focussed on working in the best way. I was worried also about [being competitive in Assen], so I am not worried any more.”
Ahead of this weekend’s Sachsenring race, Dovizioso has a lead of four points over Vinales, with Rossi and Marc Marquez seven and 11 points away from the top respectively.
The last time a Ducati rider led the standings was in 2009, and Dovizioso says the fact the team leads so far into the campaign proves it can sustain its challenge.
“If after eight rounds you are leading the championship, it means you have everything you need to fight for it, because nobody here gives you anything,” he continued. “It’s not like leading after the second or third rounds.
“Now we’re seeing a situation at Ducati we’ve never seen in my five years here – we aren’t just getting results through others’ errors; they have come through improvement and hard work.
“But we must keep our feet on the ground and continue to work on the weak points of the bike.”