Andrea Dovizioso has stressed the importance of making further improvements to his Ducati so he can challenge Marc Marquez.
Dovizioso, runner-up in the last two seasons, finished second at Le Mans this weekend. He was, however, a long way off Marquez and was unable to challenge his long-term rival.
A chaotic start to the race caused the Italian to lose places. He was able to regain his composure however, getting the better of team-mate, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller.
He was, however, unable to keep up with Marquez and began to slip back towards his team-mate. Despite the best efforts of Petrucci, Dovizoso kept his cool to secure his second Le Mans podium with Ducati.
Despite the positive result, Dovizioso knows that more work needs to be done. He said:
“I’m happy with my result because the conditions have been really tricky here all weekend and, nonetheless, we seized second position in both the race and the championship. That said, we need to stay focused and try to make further improvements if we want to fight with Márquez until the end. I couldn’t keep his pace until the checkered flag because the rear tyre dropped a bit too much, and in the final laps I also had to fend off Danilo’s comeback. It was a good fight, and I’m not surprised by his speed, as I know him well.
“We scored the best possible result and the championship is still open. I can’t wait to race again at Mugello, a track we know quite well and on which we achieved important results in the recent past.”
Sunday’s result means that Dovizioso is second in the championship, eight points behind Marquez. He now has a 12-point advantage over Alex Rins in third.
Round six of the 2019 MotoGP season takes place at Mugello on 31 May – 2 June 2019.