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GP Week : Issue 103
ANDREA Dovizioso seemed ready at the beginning of the year to challenge slow-starting team-mate Dani Pedrosa for supremacy at Honda ... but a slump in results mid-season just as Dani started coming good left even some doubt of his future with the Honda factory team. Now the 24-year-old Italian has done more than merely profit by his senior team- mate’s absence injured. For two consecutive races he has challenged strongly for the lead, and shown he has the pace to run consistently at the front. It didn’t happen by chance, as he explained how two clear technical steps forward over the latter part of the season have transformed him from hopeful to serious contender. The first step came at Aragon, where a geometry change finally gave him a front-end feeling that could give him confidence to ride more aggressively. The second was fully electronic, that came with something of a breakthrough at Motegi, with adjustment to the wheelie- control software added another layer of balance to the bike. “My results didn’t drop midseason,” he explained. “It was the others who improved. Now I have also improved. “Sure, these set-up changes have made the bike better, but I always think the biggest step comes from inside the rider.” How Dovi came to the fore Moto GP SEPANG >> 43