Andrea Dovizioso believes Ducati has done ‘almost everything perfect’ this season, but is unsure if it can sustain its charge for the MotoGP title in the final four races.
Dovizioso comes into this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix 16 points adrift of standings leader Marc Marquez, after the Honda rider romped to his fifth win of the year while the Italian struggled to seventh at Aragon.
The Ducati rider came from a 31-point deficit after the French round to score four wins and hold a championship lead of nine points after the British Grand Prix.
It’s this transformation in form after the opening races that has pleased Dovizioso most this season, and he believes it is this that has kept him in contention for the title – though he does not know if he will still be a challenger after the flyaway races.
“It’s a really important moment, but I feel quite calm about that because I know very well what we did this year,” said Dovizioso.
“We did a great job and we did almost everything perfect. We are at the end of the championship and we are fighting with Honda, Yamaha and with these two special riders (Marquez and Maverick Vinales).
“So it means we did a great job. Last year we were quite far from the championship, at the beginning of the season we were quite far.
“So I’m happy to have created this situation.
“I don’t know if we have a chance reall to fight for the championship until the end, but we will try 100 percent and we will enjoy this moment.”
Dovizioso reckons Motegi’s numerous hard-braking zones will play into his favour this weekend, while admitting Ducati‘s aerodynamic fairing – which he has seldom used since it introduction at Brno – will be of big benfit to him also in the circuit’s many low-gear acceleration points.
“It is a good track for us and especially for me, because there is a lot of hard braking,” the 2004 125cc Japanese Grand Prix winner said.
“I think we are quite competitive in the braking.
“I think with the fairing we can also be competitive in the acceleration, at the end of the straight our engine is really strong.
“So there is a lot of cards we can (use) to be very competitive, but the weather is unstable it looks like, so we have to live day by day and try to get the maximum (from the bike).”