Andrea Dovizioso did not shy away from title talk at the launch of Ducati Team’s Desmosedici GP20 bike, insisting his team were desperate to “challenge for the title again”.
Dovizioso has finished as runner-up to six-time MotoGP™ world champion Marc Marquez in each of the last three seasons, but the gap between the Spaniard and Ducati’s main rider grew significantly in 2019.
But Dovizioso’s hopes are high heading into the 2020 campaign, as he revealed at the unveiling of the new Ducati Team bike in Bologna on Thursday (local time).
Ducati Motor Holding CEO Claudio Domenicali also talked up a smarter engine on the bikes, which will be bright red and feature additional black and chrome in the new campaign.
“[The] 2019 [season] was interesting and made us understand a few aspects that will help us to improve and grow in 2020,” Dovizioso said.
“Last year, we finished as runner-up for the third consecutive time behind Marc Marquez, a rider that, for sure, made the difference last year, but we also did our best managing … our potential.
“Every year has its own story and it is not easy to predict what will happen in 2020.
“Our goal is clear – we want to challenge for the title again.
“Both Ducati and I are working hard to be back stronger than ever before. Compared to last year, I expect to find more competitive rivals, but we have also grown a lot, and I am confident that we will be able to continue with our positive trend.”
Dovizioso won two races and claimed 269 points in 2019, well short of Marquez, who triumphed in 12 events and finished with 420 points.
Dovizioso’s Ducati teammate, Danilo Petrucci, was sixth in the standings with 176 points and is confident he will bounce back from a slow end to the 2019 campaign.
“[The] 2019 [season] was positive for me, despite a few difficulties towards the end of the year,” he said.
“It was my best season in MotoGP™ in terms of results. I took my first win in Mugello in a fantastic race in front of my home crowd and all the Ducati fans.
“This result boosts my confidence and motivates me to improve even more this year.
“I know our rivals will be back stronger this year, but that counts for me, too. I have been improving and growing each season.”
Ducati Team’s new bike will be put to the test when MotoGP™ testing resumes in Sepang on February 7, ahead of the much-anticipated season-opener in Qatar on March 8.