Andrea Dovizioso believes that he can challenge for the MotoGP title with his Ducati next year. Dovizioso joined the Ducati in 2013 and the factory was really struggling in that time. He was able to finish the championship in the eighth position.
In 2014, the Italian took two podiums on his way to fifth in the standings and last year, he claimed five podiums and seventh place in the championship. For 2017, Dovizioso will be joined by Jorge Lorenzo at Ducati factory team.
Dovizioso has scored four podiums this year and his first ever Ducati victory - the second of his MotoGP career - in last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.
After claiming his first victory with Ducati, Dovizioso says his sights are set on title fight next year. He said, "I know it's in the wet and not in the dry, but it looks like I cooked the competitors.
"It's something I don't feel a lot in my career, it's really nice. Apart from the victory now, I think this year my competitiveness, how strong we have become - me and Ducati together - is good but it's not enough because we want to fight for the championship. What we have now still is not enough, but we are very close."
The Italian has several DNFs his season and he said without those, this season would have been a different one. "The second, third and fourth races I had really bad luck because I got three zeros and it was not my fault," he said.
He commented, "That was a lot of points because I was able to make two podiums in three races, which changes everything if you have a lot of points at the beginning of the season. That was very bad because we started with a really good race in Qatar, we had a chance to take more podiums but I stayed just with 20 points.
"After that, the difficult point of this year was Barcelona, I had a wrong tyre in the race, but apart from that, we didn't have the speed. And when you lose a lot of seconds in the race, this is really bad, because this means you can't fight for the championship - you can arrive out of the podium, but you have to be very close.
"That is very important, to really think about the championship. That's why I can say I'm very happy about the improvement of Ducati this year, but still, it's not enough. What we need is something more, a little bit more, to really try to fight for the championship."