The chain of command in Ducati does not work. In fact, when we learned that Ducati had left Andrea Dovizioso free to take part in a motocross race, we asked ourselves: are they so sure that they don't even take into consideration the error of another competitor? We asked ourselves. Then a doubt assailed us: perhaps they are doing this in order not to further aggravate the negotiations, we imagined. Finally we had a bad thought: he just doesn't give a damn anymore, we concluded.
Let’s face it; allowing ones top rider to compete in a specialty that is not his and at high risk such as motocross always seems ... well, basically a big risk.
For this reason - usually - in drivers’ or riders’ contracts for F1 and motorcycling, special clauses are inserted that prevent them from taking part in dangerous sports, including skiing. And we’re talking about physical activities here, not about races.
On the other hand, sportsmen, by definition, love physical activity and often, trusting their athletic conditions, they do not consider the possibility of getting hurt, which is inherent in every sport.
One thing, however, is skiing in the winter months before the first race, another is to compete in such a demanding discipline as motocross exactly 17 days away from the first test in Jerez, the one planned by Dorna to allow the MotoGP riders to recover after the long lockdown.
And while we can certainly understand Dovizioso's desire, on the other hand we continue not to understand the reason for Ducati's risk taking.
Again on the other hand, we know how difficult it is to bend the drivers’ way of thinking to the wishes of the manufacturers. In September 1986 Michele Alboreto, then a Ferrari driver, showed up in Monza in bad condition with a nasty bruise to his right shoulder.
Michele, who the next day was scheduled to race with his Ferrari Turbo, declared that he had had an accident at home, if I remember correctly there was even talk of him falling in the shower.
The fact was that Alboreto, a passionate motorcyclist, had actually crashed on his bike. Claudio Costa was responsible for patching him up afterwards.
“After a thorough visit - explained Dr. Costa - I subjected Alboreto to pharmacological and physiotherapeutic treatment. We carried out electro-analgesic and electro-stimulation sessions that lasted all Friday and we were able to get Michele back in shape. "
The result was that at 10 in the morning on Friday Alboreto managed to get into the cockpit of his Ferrari and then he even set the tenth quickest time that put him on the fifth row of the grid alongside Riccardo Patrese's Brabham-BMW, on the day that another Milanese driver, Teo Fabi, set pole in an identical single-seater.
The difference between the two facts?
Quite simply that Ferrari had obviously not authorized Michele Alboreto. As in that case, we now obviously hope that it is just a bump and that Andrea does better than Alboreto’s 10th place in qualifying; Michele then in the race retired after a spin which, obviously (it seemed) did not depend on his shoulder problem.