Andrea Dovizioso is still trying to play down his MotoGP championship chances despite taking the overall lead with six races to go. The Ducati rider won a tension-filled British Grand Prix at Silverstone and now leads reigning champion Marc Marquez by nine points after the Honda rider suffered a mechanical failure.
With only a third of the season remaining, Dovizioso has a real shot at his first premier class title and Ducati’s first for ten years but the Italian was more keen to focus on his latest victory and believes the championship will take care of itself.
“Today was something special for us. The championship, we’re there and leading but we’ve showed everybody we have the chance to fight. Until the end, it will be open 100% but we won four races in a different way. Today we had a chance to fight for the victory which I didn’t expect. For sure, we didn’t expect to be in this position (in the championship) but it’s difficult to know what the competitors did. It looks like some had ups and downs, especially Yamaha. We still have too much of the championship to go and I don’t think it’s the right time to talk about the championship. Six races is a lot of points so we will take it race-by-race.”
Dovizioso took a patient approach to his race given the nature of the five-way leading scrap but he admitted the failure for Marquez forced him into urgent action.
“When I saw ‘Marquez out’ on the pit-board, I changed my strategy because I saw Valentino and me had dropped Maverick a little bit so I had to take this opportunity. At the end, I saw Maverick come back so I pushed 100% and it was very close but it was enough.”
With four wins from the last seven races, the Ducati Desmosedici GP is establishing itself as one of the best balanced machines on the grid, a view Dovizioso agrees with.
“It’s difficult to say not at this moment. For the last six races, our balance was really good. Even at Assen, we were the fastest before it started to rain. With the tyres we have this year, maybe we have the best balance but it’s difficult to say. I’m happy though.”
Dovizioso will now take the championship lead to his home Grand Prix at Misano in two weeks time.