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Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso says he has no qualms over replacing Valentino Rossi at the Italian squad, admitting that although it is 'very special' to be following in the footsteps of the seven-time MotoGP Champion, the returning Yamaha rider's challenging phase on the Desmosedici machine makes his job a little easier.
"Taking the place of Valentino is very special, but the fact that he has not done much with this bike helps," said Dovizioso, who also talked of his and the team's main target for the 2013 season: "The objective is simple. We must work to reduce the gap. I chose this challenge because I know I can do well.
"I need to get to know everyone, but it is a long-term project and the first race will be less focused on results.
"It will not copy any bike. Each bike has its own philosophy and you have to find all the positives of the Desmosedici. Much will depend on what will have to change."
Dovizioso, who is entering his sixth term in MotoGP, went on to confirm that the neck problem he suffered during post-season testing at the end of 2012 is now cured.
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|10 May||Ducati completes setup test at Mugello|
|10 Mar||Hayden undergoes minor wrist operation|
|1 Mar||Preziosi leaves Ducati for health reasons|
|18 Feb||Ducati completes three-day test at Jerez|
|23 Apr||Photos: Rossi tests NASCAR at Charlotte|
|23 Apr||Rossi impresses during NASCAR test|
|16 Apr||Yamaha riders confident ahead of Austin|
|8 Apr||Rossi thrilled to achieve podium target|
|16 Jan||New Ducati GP13 unveiled at Wrooom|
|15 Jan||Replacing Rossi does not faze Dovizioso|
|14 Jan||Ferrari and Ducati kick off Wrooom 2013|
|1 Dec '12||Ducati completes final post-season test|
|17 May||Pedrosa stays fastest in second practice|
|17 May||Pedrosa tops first practice at Le Mans|
|15 May||Hayden expects less wrist pain at Le Mans|
|14 May||Lorenzo hopes to do better at Le Mans|