The San Marino GP at Misano has reconfirmed just what an extraordinary pair Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo really are, if further proof were needed .
A pair who will part ways next year, with Ducati welcoming Danilo Petrucci, who moves over from the satellite Pramac team, while Lorenzo will head over to Honda, to strengthen the ranks alongside Marc Marquez.
Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali returns to the subject of the imminent Ducati-Lorenzo split and the parties respective standpoints, Domenicali having said that “Jorge is a good rider” and Jorge having answered back with “i'm not a good rider, I'm a champion".
“What's done is done - he recalls - I don't like the word divorce. It was not an issue relating to communication or budget. Let's say that we had a mutual opinion of what could be done, but we then opted for different solution. When you talk about divorce, you're talking about fingers in eyes, fighting, but I think that having Jorge with us on the team for twenty months, plus the six races still ahead of us this season, has given us an extraordinary advantage. We have understand many things about the bike. I believe that a lot of the work we've done is the result of theories that he brought to the table, confirming what Dovi had already given us”.
An admission of the formidable technical contribution that Lorenzo has made, something that we've not previously heard from Domenicali.
The result is the incredible competitiveness of the current GP18.
“Today we have an extraordinarily competitive bike thanks also to this investment we made - recognises the Ducati CEO, who adds - I believe that Jorge, in recent months, has realised his potential with this bike, understanding that he can win or at least try to at every track. I also see a different Jorge to that of the past, one who displays extraordinary competitiveness and determination. It's not sentimentalism, but I believe we've done a good job together, to the benefit of both parties”.
The fact remains that an incredibly strong team, which has currently won more races than Honda, will dissolve at the end of the season.
“The riders are sportsmen, but this sport has contractual implications - underlines Domenicali - so every two years you find yourself renegotiating the contract. I don't think it was particularly traumatic with Andrea, just a normal discussion. But with Jorge things didn't go as we'd hoped they would two years ago. Now we have to focus on the future”.