Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso will be riding the new Ducati Desmosedici GP
After three winter testing sessions in Malaysia and Australia in February and in Qatar two weeks ago, the Ducati Team is now ready for the opening round of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for Sunday evening at the floodlit Losail International Circuit on the outskirts of Doha.
Both Ducati Team riders will be riding the new Ducati Desmosedici GP, which was unveiled to the press in February at the Ducati Auditorium in Bologna. Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso gradually improved their form and their feeling with the bike over the various test sessions, and they concluded the final test at Losail satisfied with their race pace.
The Qatar weekend, unlike the rest of the races in the calendar, will begin on Thursday evening with the first Free Practice session, while the race will be held on Sunday at 9pm local time (19.00 CET).
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29): "Last year I had a great race, and I scored a fantastic first MotoGP podium so it is a good memory for me. With the rule changes, I think that this year will see a good fight up front, because all the riders are closer, but we can also be competitive and will try our best to get on the podium again. The last test in Qatar was the best one for me, because day after day I was able to improve the feeling with the bike and with the Michelin tyres. We worked well, but we are only at the start with the new bike and we still have a lot of potential.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04): "It’s great to start the season here in Qatar. Losail is a circuit where the MotoGP bikes can make the most of their available horsepower, because it is a very fast track and has a wide range of corners. It’s really different at night, when the temperature is perfect for the race. We have to be optimistic because in nine days of testing we worked well to set a good pace, and made a lot of progress in improving the feeling with the new Desmosedici GP. I’m quite relaxed about the start of the season, but I know that during the race weekend we will have to be quick to adapt to the Michelin tyres. It will be important to approach the weekend and all the new aspects in the best possible way, but I am confident for the race.”