Jorge Lorenzo’s race ended in the gravel at Valencia. The Spaniard began to get a glimpse of the leading pair when, just as things were looking good, a crash compromised his day. As if that were not enough, there was no lack of controversy over his race management. Despite several notices instructing him to let his teammate pass, the Majorcan maintained his position.
“In the race, the lead riders has an incredible pace – number 99 recalled – Unfortunately, on the first turn I was not in the best position to be able to overtake. I struggled a lot with the hard front tyre – he revealed – In fact, I lacked confidence on the right-handers. It was the last race of the year and I tried to push anyway, knowing that I was risking.”
So, Valencia leaves a bitter taste behind for the Ducati camp, because neither of the two bikes made it to the finish line.
“Dovizioso struggled a lot for the entire weekend. He was lacking the pace on this track – he analysed – The group ahead of us was seven tenths faster. I was well aware that I needed to let Dovi pass – he explained – but at the same time, I thought that by staying ahead I would be able to give him a tow to get him closer to the riders ahead of us.”
Post-race attention was all focused on the fact that the Majorcan had not gotten out of Andrea’s way.
“First of all, I want to know what Dovi said about it – Jorge commented – If I’m not mistaken, Andrea appreciated the fact that I gave him a hand. Mapping 8 was not an order, but rather a suggestion (in the post-race interview, Tardozzi is beside him and confirms).”
Among the journalists, there are those who maintain that Jorge’s behaviour was shameful.
“It might seem that way from the outside looking in, but after Dovi pointed out that I helped him, I think that it is the opposite and it is clear enough. Anyone who thinks that my race was shameful doesn’t understand anything about bikes.”
The episode in Malaysia comes to mind, when in that case the message to switch to mapping 8 also appeared on number 99’s dashboard.
“Unlike Sepang, here the pace was lacking – Jorge analysed – I stayed ahead in order to give him a tow closer to the leaders. If we had gotten close to the group ahead of us, Andrea would have been able to battle for first place.”
And yet, in some sections, the Italian seemed to be faster.
“By staying ahead, I helped Dovi make up those two tenths he was lacking – Lorenzo concluded – It’s true that on certain turns Andrea was fast, but in a 30-lap race he lost ground in other sectors and at the end of the day, that has an impact.”