Both Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci insist there have been no discussions regarding Ducati team orders despite the pair’s falling out over MotoGP Aragon Grand Prix qualifying.
Dovizioso was angry at teammate Petrucci for using him as a reference to improve his lap time in the first part of Aragon qualifying last weekend, which led to the former being knocked out of Q1 and forced to start from 13th on the grid.
Petrucci’s actions were defended by Ducati at the time, but Dovizioso said it wasn’t a “smart” plan on Petrucci’s part and felt he should have done more to help Ducati’s main title hope. Dovizioso recovered to seventh in the race and is now 15 points off the championship lead.
When asked if there will be a plan in place to employ team orders this weekend at the Teruel GP, Dovizioso replied: “No, in this moment there isn’t any team orders and we didn’t speak about that. So, in this moment everything stays the same.”
Motorsport.com asked Petrucci the same question, and he echoed his teammate’s comments while admitting he hasn’t spoken to Dovizioso about what happened in qualifying last week.
“No, after the race there wasn’t the chance to talk,” he said. “We were both quite tired after the race, but everything is clear. We haven’t spoken in any case about team orders this week. It’s quite early this week.”
Earlier on Thursday both Suzuki riders dismissed suggestions Alex Rins could now be asked to help championship leader Joan Mir, with the latter admitting it’s “not fair” to impose team orders as his teammate still has his own chance to win the title.
Dovizioso endured a tough Aragon GP weekend, with the colder temperatures seen throughout most of the session causing grip issues for all Ducati riders. Since his Austrian GP win in August, Dovizioso hasn’t returned to the podium and his haul of points since has been just 50, relative to the 90 Mir has collected in the same period.
As such, Dovizioso’s sees the Teruel GP as crucial to solidifying his title credentials heading into the final triple-header next month.
“It is very, very important this race, for sure,” said Dovizioso. “Even more because there are four races remaining and the points [gap] is not too big, but we have to start to gain some points if we have to fight for the championship. And we will be very focused. We know how difficult this weekend will be because everybody will be faster.
“So, to be in top 10 in practice will be very difficult. But at the end I think we can be faster than last weekend and the weather looks like it will be a bit better. We will be focused and try to start in the first two rows.
“That will be make a big difference because everybody is struggling with the tyres. So, to be there and riding in a better way, to be consistent from the beginning to the end will make the difference.”
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