After positively concluding two three-day, pre-season tests, the last of which took place about one week ago in Qatar, the Mission Winnow Ducati team is ready for the opening round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship at the Losail track, located on the outskirts of Doha.
Andrea Dovizioso, who enjoyed yet another successful season, in which he took four wins and finished in second position overall for the second consecutive year with nine podiums overall, is ready to begin his 12th year in MotoGP and seventh consecutive with the Ducati outfit.
Alongside Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci is keen to make his official debut in factory colors after showing his competitiveness onboard the Pramac Racing Team's Ducati in the past four seasons, the last two of which saw him battle for top overall position among independent riders until the very end of the year.
The Qatar GP is the only one on the calendar to be held at night: the start is scheduled for Sunday night at 20:00 local time (CET +2).
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati)
"We worked positively and methodically during the winter break, and I'm confident we'll be ready to put up a fight from the very first round. The lap times from the tests, especially in Qatar, don't really show the whole picture since most riders mostly worked on race pace. As for us, we collected plenty of interesting data and we analyzed it into great detail to come up with the best possible strategy ahead of this round. We'll be able to assess our level and that of our opponents more in depth only once we take it back to the track, but what matters is that our feeling with the bike has been very good up to this point."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati)
"I'm happy with the way the tests went and ready to begin a new season. From the very first outing with the team, I've been trying to further optimize my approach, both physically and mentally, to make the most of this opportunity. I've also made some important changes to my training and dietary regimes, and I feel as ready as ever for the upcoming battle. We managed to be fast in each session during the winter tests, but in the end it's the race that matters, and that's usually a different story. We have a lot of competitive rivals, especially on this track given the recent tests done here: it won't be easy to put them behind us, but I'm confident we have some good cards up our sleeve."
Name: Losail International Circuit
Length: 5,380 km
Corners: 16 (6 left, 10 right)
Pole position: left
Race distance: 22 laps (118.4 km)
Circuit record: Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:54.927 (168.5 km/h) - 2016
Fastest lap: Zarco (Yamaha) 1:53.680 (170.3 km/h) - 2018
Top speed: Petrucci (Ducati) 351.9 km/h - 2018
Podium: 1st Dovizioso (Ducati); 2nd Marquez (Honda), 3rd Rossi (Yamaha)
Pole Position: Zarco (Yamaha) 1:53.680 (170,3 km/h)
Fastest lap: Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:55.242 (168,0 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 32 (born on 23 March 1986 in Forlimpopoli)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 294 (196 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2008 Qatar (MotoGP), 2005 Spain (250cc), 2001 Italy (125cc)
Wins: 21 (12 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2009 Great Britain (MotoGP), 2006 Catalonia (250cc), 2004 South Africa (125cc)
Pole Positions: 20 (7 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2010 Japan (MotoGP), 2006 France (250cc), 2003 France (125cc)
World Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race number: 9
Age: 28 (born on 24 October 1990 in Terni)
Residence: Forlì (Italia)
Races: 118 (MotoGP)
First GP: 2012 Qatar (MotoGP)
Pole positions: -
World titles: -