Danilo Petrucci says he was surprised to read post-race comments by Andrea Dovizioso criticising his conduct during the race in Argentina.

Factory star Dovizioso was taken down by Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro, but felt it was Petrucci who had created the situation.

Dovi said his fellow Italian was 'riding in a bad way', closing the door under braking and forcing evasive action that in turn 'created' the mistake by Espargaro. Speaking at Austin on Thursday, Petrucci saw it differently.

"When I read those things it was a surprise because I didn't see Dovizioso during the race," Petrucci said. "There are even images from my on-board camera and the most close we got was his front wheel matching my rear wheel. So for me it was impossible to see where he was.

"I'm sorry for him because I was not crashing with him, I think it was Espargaro. Dovi says I was very aggressive, but I never saw him during the race so I don't know what I'm gonna do. Maybe put some screen to watch behind! I don't know.

"I'm sorry for Dovi and for sure he is one of my friends here, but I have not so much words to say on this occasion even because Zarco, Pedrosa, Bautista and Folger overtook me and didn't complain."

Although Petrucci rides for the satellite Pramac team he has a third GP17, 'very similar' to those used by Dovizioso and factory team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

"At the moment my bike is like a workshop, a laboratory," he said. "The last race in Argentina we had no issues on the bike. It's different from the factory GP17, but very, very similar."

"For me, two years of step [from the GP15 last season] is quite a lot and this bike is the best I ever ride. It's better in the braking area and going into the corner with the brakes, which for me it's one of my strongest points."

While Petrucci slipped back to seventh due to a lack of rear grip in Argentina, having made a 'mistake' with tyre choice, Aspar's Alvaro Bautista took fourth on a GP16 machine.

"In the first part of the race for sure my tyre was better, but in the last ten laps I have no rear traction. So in that point for sure Bautista got more traction, but the rear tyres were different and for sure he can use some different set-up because he is lighter than me/

"After the winter tests I expected Bautista to be very fast because he was strong, not so much on a single lap, but in the race he is very consistent, especially at the end. Maybe being lighter is a factor, so tyre consumption is not so high. But anyway he's very fast."

By Peter McLaren

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