Andrea Dovizioso says he is “optimistic” the Ducati MotoGP team can get its 2016 campaign off to a strong start in Qatar, following an encouraging final test week.
The Italian manufacturer’s works riders Andrea Iannone and Dovizioso concluded the third pre-season test in Losail sixth and eighth respectively, the latter nine tenths shy of pacesetter Jorge Lorenzo.
And while he admitted his best laptime was “nothing special”, Dovizioso says the long-run pace he achieved on the Desmosedici GP makes him confident of another strong Qatar showing.
“I did 10 [consecutive] laps very similar, good times,” said Dovizioso, who narrowly missed out on victory to Valentino Rossi at the track in last year’s season-opening race.
“We have the speed and I’m very happy about that. If we look at Lorenzo’s race simulation today, it’s very similar to what we did [on Thursday].
“You never know, the conditions every day can be different. It’s difficult to analyse, but we go into the weekend optimistic because we have the speed.
“We’ve improved a lot in nine days of testing – my feeling especially, which is the most important.”
"One of the fastest"
Speaking in more detail about his race simulation on Thursday, Dovizioso added: “The laptimes were really good, I think I did my fastest lap in the middle of the simulation.
“So I’m really happy about that, and we can tell exactly our pace. We still have some things to improve, but I think we are one of the fastest.”