Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso says he was “surprised” to have beaten “a lot of champions with good bikes” to second place in the 2019 standings.
While dominant Honda rider Marc Marquez won the title by a mammoth margin of 151 points, Dovizioso himself ended up 58 points clear of third-placed Maverick Vinales.
This was despite two retirements during the season, both of which he was blameless for – having been taken out in the pile-up triggered by Jorge Lorenzo in Barcelona before getting caught up in Fabio Quartararo’s first-corner crash at Silverstone.
Dovizioso admitted the final standings were “strange”, and felt his own campaign can be viewed from different angles.
“I think we have to look at our season in a different way,” he said. “Because, the goal was different, the goal was to fight for the championship and win the title, and we didn’t, so we can’t be happy about that.
“Still there are some points where we have to improve a bit more than what we did. But we have to be also realistic because this season the mix [of] Honda and Marc did something crazy. They scored, I think, the record of points, they won all the titles.
“But also, if you look at the championship, it’s strange, because Marc scored record points, I did my record, and after me there is almost 60 points to the rider in third.
“So this means I think we worked in a pretty good way this season, because I had two zeroes and it wasn’t our fault. And it’s a big point. So, I think we have to be happy about what we did, because we confirmed [our position] in this championship, and the level is so high.
“If I look behind me, I’m a bit surprised – there are a lot of champions with a lot of good bikes. I think we managed the season in the races in a good way this season. So, depends on which way you want to see.”
Dovizioso said Marquez’s 2019 form made it “difficult to think about the championship, but for sure not impossible”.
“For sure it [our performances in 2019] is not enough, because we want to fight for the championship, but in this moment everybody looks [at] what we can do to beat Marc,” continued the Italian. “It’s very difficult.
“But it’s not impossible, because this season Marc did something crazy, I think nobody expected that, [next season] can go in a different way, every championship has a different story. So you have to keep that mentality, you have to be optimistic.
“We have to continue to work really hard, in the way we worked this season, because the effort Ducati, the engineers, my crew and me [are putting in], we are pushing a lot.”
Additional reporting by Matteo Nugnes
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team, Michele Pirro, Pramac Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images