It is highly unlikely that it would have changed the championship outcome, but there was plenty of post-race debate about whether Jorge Lorenzo was right to ignore team orders in Sunday's Valencia MotoGP.

The Spaniard spent almost the entire race in fourth place, just in front of Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who needed to win to have any chance of snatching the title from Honda's Marc Marquez.

Just as at Sepang, Ducati sent the 'Mapping 8' dashboard message to Lorenzo, code for the team order. After multiple requests, and if any doubt remained as to its meaning, the team then resorted to holding out 'Dovizioso -1 ' pitboard messages (with a downward arrow) for Lorenzo. All to no avail.

The Spaniard said he was aware of the messages, but felt he was faster than Dovizioso and could tow him up to the leading trio. Lorenzo insisted he would have let Dovizioso by if the Italian had a chance of winning, or if Marquez fell.

That nearly happened at on lap 23 of 30, when Marquez saved a monster scare with his elbow, running off track and dropping from first to fifth. But the glimmer of hope for Dovizioso was soon extinguished when he fell a lap later, not long after Lorenzo had crashed. Both said they had been on the limit.

But the fact that Lorenzo had decided to overrule so many instructions, while Dovizioso sat on his rear wheel for lap-after-lap, didn't look good for rider or team.

Despite apparent 'what is he doing?' exchanges between team members caught on camera during the race, Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti said the messages to Lorenzo were not so much a team order, as a team suggestion.

"This is what we suggest to the rider based on what we can see from the pit box. And the rider knows [more] because he can see the other riders. So in this case, I think if you also speak to Dovi, and he will tell you he thought that at the beginning he was faster in a few corners and slower in other corners, but at a certain point, [following Lorenzo's] clean lines was helping Dovi to ride in a very relaxed way.

"So he said, 'it helped me up to a point to catch Pedrosa', and then he said, 'unfortunately we were both at the limit'. Jorge said, 'if he had seen that Márquez had a problem or once we catch the leading group, then I would let him [Dovizioso] pass. But we needed first to catch the leading group and try to be first and second, and then see what happens'.

"So I think honestly, you can never really judge perfectly from what you see on TV. And if a rider knows that he has the pace to close the gap to the front, and other riders following him are gaining an advantage from following some clean lines, I think it's fine.

"We're not upset. We would be upset if Marc crashed and Lorenzo wins, and Dovi is second. But this is not the case.

"As I said, sometimes you judge by what you see. But the rider is on the bike, he knows if he can push, if he has some margin, if is able to close the gap to the front and help his team-mate.

"So the best answer is what Dovi said - and he said it because he thinks it - that in the end he is not upset at all, just he was able to actually relax a little bit [behind Lorenzo] without having to push so much."

The alternative view being expressed in the paddock was that, especially given his reputed wages and the fact it was only for fourth place, Lorenzo should have done as the team had asked and at least given Dovizioso the chance to ride in clear air for a lap or two. If the Italian then didn't have the pace to catch the leaders, few would have begrudged Lorenzo for re-passing him.

Ciabatti admitted the continuous attempts to try and make Lorenzo give way were because Ducati thought Dovizioso was faster: "In our opinion, in some areas, [Lorenzo] was slowing Dovi down."

However, Dovizioso's own comments after the race meant the team had changed their mind.

"If [he was being held up], Dovi would come into the garage and be quite upset, but he's not. So I think we must really give credit to professional riders that they know what they are doing.

"I think it worked fine until they both crashed, because they were closing the gap on the first two. But anyway, seeing that Marc was able to save that almost crash, he would finish fifth-fourth, and it would be unfortunately pointless for us.

"The only way [to win the title] is if Marquez would crash. When he went into the gravel, there was a high chance of him not being able to pick up the bike and start again. But in the end it didn't happen, and we have not so much to regret."

The Ducati team went straight over to congratulate Honda after the race.

"Honestly, Márquez deserves his title, because he rode a fantastic season, and I think being able to come to the last round, still fighting with Márquez and Honda, is an achievement.

"Obviously I can't say we're totally happy, we regret Brno, we regret Phillip Island, we regret the crash in Argentina, where we had no fault. If we came here in a better position, and Phillip Island, and we had the eleven points we lost in Argentina, it would be different story. You have maybe only five, six points to gain. You can use a different strategy, and Márquez would have more pressure and so on, but this is racing.

"But then he blew the engine in Silverstone, so you know, and if that didn't happen maybe he would be on the podium there."

Dovizioso - who like Marquez won six races this season - ultimately lost the title by 37 points, but his runner-up finish in the standings is the best for a Ducati rider since Casey Stoner's title victory in 2007.

Triple MotoGP champion Lorenzo was seventh in the world championship and without a win in his debut Ducati season.


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It's pretty immaterial whether he let him through or not as it happens, blatent team orders always make both riders look bad anyway.

I like how longtime Flossi fanboy Peter Mclaren likes to stir up the pot on anyone not named Flossi. All his articles today of the race he blatantly mentions Jorge held Dovi up even though both Dovi and Ducati say otherwise.

Then he creates two articles,  one asking if JL did the right thing and the other stating JL defends his decision, two provocative titles to be less obvious at his insinuation.

Yet I didn't see any article from him like that when Flossi finished ahead of Vinales at PI and ended Vinales mathematical title hopes.

I like how JLo schooled that Italian smug journalist in press conference. 

still fuck you for tainting that name

This is a must read!  Exactly what we see JLo doing, Mr. White Hat good guy.

It really comes together when you see multi Valencia winner JLo seemingly holding up his teammate, but in actuality that was by design, tow his teammate and manage his pace and see how it plays out for his tires in the end. 

JLo has beat the best of the best here.  He knows how this race track works and how 30 laps on it plays in tire management.

Yeah, I think maybe he could have let Dovi through earlier, but after seeing both riders fall in the latter stages, JLo was taking one for the team by defying orders, even if it meant taking one on the chin.  Mr. Bad Guy, who knew better how to deliver Dovi to his destiny, if it were meant to be.  If only the two riders had worked in the garage beforehand on such a strategy.   It didn't appear they had.

But in the end, Zarco or Pedrosa were just too strong today, even after Marc went for the win.


He should have let Dovi pass irrespective of his falling pace...

a spaniard towing an italian to aid italian to win on spanish home ground? lorenzo should let andrea pass, period. lorenzo could have another 2 tenth of second in reserve to tow andrea but would he do it? 

Read the article... Both were on the limit. 

Ducati are a very mture team and pair of riders, all agreed on the same points. Why do 'fans' have to create other scenarios or speculate on things that are not true.

Best way of interfereing with somebodies race or race plan is to sit in front and block,Lorenzo has prior form of doing the same before,we havye seen the races,seen the results and listened to those involved,you make your choice of who you believe,on top of what your eyes have shown you !!

I certainly would not want Lorenzo in my team,even as an owner,he is the Alonso of MotoGP.

It looks like his experiment at Ducati is going to be as successful as rossi's was,although perhaps in his head,just one win will some how make him "better" than Rossi.

Perhaps he should force his way to a Honda drive and try to copy as much from Marquez at Honda as he did from Rossi at yamaha,but then perhaps also like Alonso,many teams will never offer him a drive,no matter what he could possibly bring them and believe that he has questions still to answer properly abuut situations in the past ?.

But whatever Marquez or Lorenzo achieve,neither have the charisma on top of the talent that makes Rossi the huge draw with fans,perhaps they think the yellow army will start to follow them once Rossi retires,but it has little to do with Rossi winning,Rossi is not the angel that many think,look back 18 years and his race style/tactics and comments others made about him then,but the yellow army started forming before he had won much in MotoGP,neither Lorenzo or Marquez will ever get the same kind of following,no matter what they achieve in the future.

As I've said before,no matter what others think or say,without Rossi, MotoGP would be in a different position without him and it will show again when he retires,I would not be suprised if dorna have already factored in the lack of Rossi into their future profit forecasts and expect a drop off,it would be nice to see myself proved wrong,it would show MotoGP is in a healthier long term state than I reckon,it WILL happen soon,which will cheer up the anti-Rossi folk,but Rossi has had a massive effect on MotoGP,for good or bad,but there will be a change when he is no longer rideing,also for good or bad,depending on your views,but if I had money to invest,I would wait to see what the effect of no Rossi us before I invested in MotoGP,it's already close to suffering the same fate as f1,fans it has,but do the general public take tge interest about it like they did not so many years ago,when drivers became national hero's and were feted by the public,can you see the same today for today's drivers ? How many headlines and media coverage did Louis Hamilton get when gaining another championship,to much of the public f1 is now irrelevant and holds little to interest them or the media,MotoGP is in danger of going the same way,one of the easiest,simplest ways MotoGP could avoid the fate is to force a divorce from the now seriously wrong anus out of date race calendar,people pay to watch riders and bikes pushed to their limits,with the change in climate but the same old calendar,we now have far more wet races and iffy conditions,compare the number of wet races now to 25-30 years ago,sky etc will still want to cover and show races,but the fans and riders would certainly prefer warm,dry conditions,who wants to watch slower,less intersting wet races ?

MM has already surpassed Rossi both in terms of speed and popularity

Wah, ha, ha ! Marquez is as popular as smallpox ! he evn gets booed in Spain(yes, I've been there and heard it) not surprising given his behaviour in 2015. Anyway Lorenzo was able to return the favour yesterday.