Dovizioso: Marginal gains behind title tilt
15 August 2017 – Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso says "tiny" gains in several areas are behind his emergence as a title contender in MotoGP, following his third victory of the campaign.
Dovizioso captured back-to-back wins in Italy and Spain earlier this season, and added another victory after prevailing in a fierce fight against Marc Márquez in Austria.
Dovizioso's victory moved him above Maverick Viñales in the standings, becoming Márquez's primary opponent for the title, 16 points behind the reigning World Champion.
He feels that making incremental steps in various departments has contributed to his status as a title contender, as opposed to taking a leap forward in one specific area.
"It's not about taking more risk, it's about managing all situations in a better way," said Dovizioso.
"When you're already fast or you've already had a good result, a small change can make a big difference – training, mentality, these tiny things can make a big difference.
"In this world, in this sport, you have to try always to improve in every area. We still need to improve some things on the bike if we really want to fight.
"[But] that's the reason why, at 31 years old, I'm here to fight for the championship now – and wasn't in the past."
On the fight ahead, Dovizioso said: "Everything [is] changing is this year's championship. Every weekend you have the chance to change everything, or lose a lot.
"There are five riders fighting for it [the championship]."
35 points cover title leader Márquez to fifth-placed Dani Pedrosa, with Dovizioso, Viñales and Valentino Rossi sitting between them.