Photos: 2015 MotoGP Preview - Andrea Dovizioso

A recap of Andrea Dovizioso's 2015 pre-season test progress

While Andrea Dovizioso, now in his third year with Ducati, would go on to make headlines during the 2015 pre-season tests (more on that later), his 2015 test program got off to a rather slow start on the older GP14.3.
The Italian rider finished the Sepang 1 test in 7th, with the best time of a 1:59.874. Marc Marquez lead the pack with a 1:58.867.
Doviziso knew going into the Sepang 2 test with the GP15 that things weren't about to get easier. "Now we are back in action in Malaysia for the penultimate tests before the start of the season, and I’ll ride the GP15 for the first time, in the knowledge that we’re going to have to work hard to make the bike competitive."
Dovi's first remarks after riding the GP15 at Sepang? "The bike finally turns.”
The Factory Ducati rider went on to say that, “So far, we've struggled a bit to regain the old front-end feeling, but we have to be realistic. This is a completely new bike, and we still have to get acquainted with it. In particular, we still don't have a clear understanding of weight distribution. But, I think we have great room for improvement.”
Tides changed during the first day of the Qatar test, where Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso put the Ducatis one and two on the time sheet. Dovizioso finished the day just 98 thousandths of a second behind his teammate.
Most important, both Iannone and Dovizioso posted their best times without using the extra-soft tire available under the “open” concessions.
When asked about the test, Dovizioso said, "I'm so happy. Our base is much better than in Sepang, but we still don't know the bike perfectly. I still want to improve under braking, which is crucial for my riding style and from a race-distance perspective.”
The 28-year-old Italian would go on to say, "The revolution is done, now we need to keep moving forward with our feet on the ground."
At Qatar, Ducati tested winglets on its GP15, with the goal of improving corner entry. When asked about the update, Dovi said that, "The winglets don't change the feeling on the bike, but the data shows it tends to wheelie a little less with them on."
When reigning World Champion Marc Marquez was asked about the Ducati's performance in Qatar, he said, "If we raced tomorrow, the factory Ducatis would have a good chance to win. Both riders are really fast, especially Dovizioso. In terms of pace, the two of us are the most consistent."
Even with its success, Dovizioso and crew know the road ahead is tough. "We didn't do bad, actually we did pretty well with both our riders,” said Luigi “Gigi” Dall'Igna, head of the racing department. “But, we still have a lot of work to do, and we need more time to improve. We still need to gauge how the bike behaves and reacts to setup changes." In short, you'll see a lot of this at the first few races.

In preparation for the start of the 2015 MotoGP season, Sport Rider is taking a closer look at a few of the top riders from pre-season testing, plus a MotoGP rookie following in Casey Stoner’s footsteps.

Today we take a look at the man who made headlines during the latter half of the testing season, Andrea Dovizioso. At 28 years old, Dovizioso is going on his third year with Ducati. Flip through the gallery above to check out what the Italian had to say about riding Ducati's new GP15, expectations moving forward, and more.

Tune in tomorrow for a look at Aleix Espargaro’s pre-season test program.