When Andrea Dovizioso says that small things can open a big door, he knows this to be true. The Ducati Corse rider stood on top of a MotoGP podium for the first time in 2009, in only his second season, then endured seven winless years before his second victory. By his own admission, that kind of streak is rarely broken.
So how did he do it? With hard work, of course, but also by realising he could choose to make small improvements, in his life and his racing, which together made a big effect on his performance. It was, he says, “something almost nobody expected.”
Dovizioso knew it was coming. He has motorcycling in his soul: a first ride aged four, first race three years later, Grand Prix world champion in the 125cc class aged 22. Winning that second MotoGP race, in the penultimate round of the 2016 season, he had tears in his eyes during the final lap. Raising an emotional response in his fans and loved ones is, he says, very important. After waiting 131 races to chalk up two wins, Dovizioso won 10 of the next 38 MotoGP races, finishing second overall in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Now a World Championship is a real possibility. Having harnessed the power of change, you would not bet against him.