Valentino Rossi believes his former team Ducati have the speed to challenge for the MotoGP championship in 2016.
Ducati duo Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone showed great pace at the Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday, with the former finishing in second place while the latter crashed out competing for top spot.
Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo went on to claim victory, but Dovizioso was less than two seconds behind at the chequered flag.
While Ducati have failed to win a race since 2010, Rossi believes the Italian manufacturer have made enough progress in the off-season to challenge Yamaha and Honda this year.
"I think Ducati is very strong. Why not? They are fast from the beginning to the end," Rossi is quoted as saying by Motorsport.
"They have, like we know, a very good top speed - but also in a corner they are very fast.
"I think Iannone, if he hadn't crashed, would stay [out front] until the end [of the race]."