Going into the 2017 MotoGP season, few expected that Andrea Dovizioso would be fighting for the title all the way to the final round in Valencia, Spain. The 31-year-old Italian may have missed out on championship glory, but the factory Ducati rider cemented his legacy during what is a true golden age of the sport.

In 2016, Dovizioso won in Malaysia, only his second premier-class victory; the first coming at a drenched British Grand Prix in 2009, his second year in MotoGP. That makes Dovi’s six victories in 2017 all the more special, particularly since Ducati hired five-time world champ Jorge Lorenzo to be its number-one rider.

“I think we have to be happy with what we did,” Dovizioso said after the final round at Valencia. “For sure, everybody has to improve, and I improved a lot. After this year, my mind will be even more open to try and win the championship. We started like I would like but we didn’t [think we] really had a chance before Qatar.”

Characterized by an imperturbable mindset that even Marquez's trademark aggression could not shake on the track coupled with his Mr. Nice Guy reputation, Dovizioso has earned the respect of the paddock. After re-entering the pits after crashing out at Valencia and throwing away any shot at winning the title, Dovizioso received a hero's welcome in the Ducati garage.

andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Grand Prix of QatarDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Gran Premio de la República ArgentinaDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Grand Prix of The AmericasDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Gran Premio Red Bull de EspañaDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp, valencia, spain
2017 Grand Prix de FranceDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Gran Premio d'ItaliaDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Gran Premi de CatalunyaDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 TT AssenDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Grand Prix DeutschlandDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Grand Prix České republikyDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Motorrad Grand Prix von ÖsterreichDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 British Grand PrixDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di RiminiDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Gran Premio de AragónDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Grand Prix of JapanDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Australian Motorcycle Grand PrixDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Malaysia Motorcycle Grand PrixDucati Team
andrea dovizioso, ducati, motogp
2017 Gran Premio de la Comunitat ValencianaDucati Team