News 21 Mar 2016

Opening round podium 'a dream' for Ducati's Dovizioso

Desmosedici GP16 competitive with Yamaha and Honda in Qatar.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

A superb runner-up finish for Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso in the opening round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship has been hailed a great result by the Italian rider and manufacturer.

Aboard the latest-spec Desmosedici GP16, Dovizioso rode a fast and aggressive race and remained in the top three positions throughout the 22 laps.

“Starting off the season like this is a dream!” he beamed. “I am really happy and above all I want to thank my team because together we have done a fantastic job to become so competitive. Thanks to all of Ducati and the guys in my team – every so often I make them suffer, but I’m always there when it counts!

“I finished last season without having a good feeling with my bike and so to do the first race at this pace, with all the regulation changes, means that we have really done a great job. We are only at the start and maybe this won’t be the real situation throughout the season, but we have an excellent base that makes us confident for the upcoming races.”

The Italian got a great start from the second row to finish the opening lap in third place, and he then moved into second on the next lap.

On lap six Dovizioso took the lead, but after three laps he was passed by world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who went on to win the first round of the season.

In the last few laps Dovi came under pressure from Marc Marquez, however he managed to hold off the Spanish rider and defend his second place until the chequered flag.

Ducati Corse general manager Luigi Dall’Igna said: “We are really satisfied with today’s result. Dovizioso took the new Desmosedici GP to a podium place on the bike’s race debut, conquering the runner-up slot with a great performance.

“In comparison with the podium here in 2015, for us this result has a completely different meaning, because this year, with the concessions allowed in the rule-book, Ducati raced under exactly the same conditions as Yamaha and Honda, demonstrating how competitive the bike is.

“It was a pity about Iannone, who was having an exceptional race and who led the first five laps before crashing out at turn 13 on lap six. In any case we have begun the championship with a very positive result and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in Ducati Corse for the great commitment shown and the work they have done over the last few months.”

Second factory Ducati Andrea Iannone’s race came to an unlucky end after he had powered away to a great start. After taking the lead on lap one, Iannone led up until the fifth lap but on lap six, while battling with Dovizioso, the Italian lost the front at turn 13 and retired from the first GP of the year.