Aragon Grand Prix crucial test for Ducati's MotoGP progress

MotoGP's Aragon Grand Prix this weekend will be a crucial "test" of Ducati's progress, reckons Andrea Dovizioso

Aragon Grand Prix crucial test for Ducati's MotoGP progress

The Motorland circuit has been a Marc Marquez stronghold for the last two years, and was one of Dovizioso's weakest venues in his 2017 title bid as he struggled to seventh there 12 months ago.

But following a third 2018 win at Misano, which was preceded by a strong private test at Aragon, Dovizioso says he can head into this weekend with optimism.

Given that Ducati still struggled at the Sachsenring, another one of its weaker 2017 venues too, he thinks Aragon will be revealing for the team.

"About Aragon, I think we can be fast," said Dovizioso.

"In the test we were good, but for sure Marc wants to win there, Marc will be strong there.

"But it will be a very good test for us to understand our level.

"On paper it's another track well suited to Jorge [Lorenzo] and I imagine that he is wants to recover fast [from crashing at Misano], especially because he was strong there last year.

"But especially I expect Marc to be very strong with the Honda."

Despite taking victory at Misano, Dovizioso lies 67 points down on Marquez in the title standings with six races to go, his title bid having been ruined by three DNFs in the first half of the season.

Dovizioso does not think Marquez will put too much on the line to win at Aragon.

"In the last three years he has learned how to manage a championship," said Dovizioso of the reigning champion.

"He decides when to attack, but he can save himself because he doesn't risk his life to win.

"When the conditions are right he tries, otherwise he is there close behind like he was [at Misano]. His behaviour has paid off over time."

Having long since given up on trying to overhaul Marquez, Dovizioso said Ducati's focus is already on 2019.

"We try to stay concentrated on obtaining the best results, because against Marc it's difficult," Dovizioso said.

"Now we are working in a good way, trying to improve the bike to be as competitive as possible, without thinking about the championship.

"But all this work will be useful for the next championship."

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