Jorge Lorenzo claimed he was unaware of the dashboard message from Ducati, understood to have been a coded reminder to allow team-mate Andrea Dovizioso into the lead in Sunday's Malaysian MotoGP.

But the Spaniard also said he "didn’t need any people to tell me what to do in this situation", while a later mistake allowed Dovizioso to pass him anyway.

Lorenzo was in front for a spell during the Malaysian round of the MotoGP World Championship after passing Johann Zarco on lap nine.

Dovizioso also passed the Frenchman on the same lap to move into second place behind Lorenzo, raising the question over whether or not the race leader would move over and allow Dovizioso through to boost his slim title hopes.

With title pacesetter Marc Marquez holding a lone fourth place, Dovizioso needed to win the race to take the championship down to the final round at Valencia in Spain.

With 6 laps to go Lorenzo received a dashboard message from his team stating "Suggested Mapping: Mapping 8". Just over a lap later, the Spaniard had the big moment at the final corner, enabling Dovizioso to take the lead.

The Italian managed to pull a gap and went on to win the race on his own merit.

Lorenzo later said he was more than aware of the championship scenario, although he claimed he did not see the dashboard message and was not totally clear on whether he would have allowed Dovizioso by without the error.

“Honestly, I just see the laps to the end on the board. I was really focused to not lose the concentration on the wet and the RPM and I didn’t see any message. I would say if it was true, but I didn’t see – just in the parc ferme they told me this message,” he said.

“I already knew and I didn’t need any people to tell me what to do in this situation. I knew the world title was important in case Marquez would have crashed or something like that.

“I knew he was in fourth or fifth position and obviously I wanted to win the race, to keep pushing to the end, but the front was at the limit and to stay with Dovi until the end, I needed to be too much on the limit,” added Lorenzo, who was celebrating his third podium of the season and his best result on the Ducati.

“I wanted to stay with him until the last corner to see if he made some mistakes and went wide or something like that, but it wasn’t like that. It started raining a little bit on the last lap and he slowed a little bit but to try something I have 90 per-cent possibility to crash.”

Ducati later confirmed they had spoken to their riders before the race and that both ‘knew the situation’... that the championship ‘must be kept open if the situation arises’.

There are no rules against team orders in MotoGP and when it was put to Marquez that Dovizioso’s race was possibly aided by an inter-team understanding with Lorenzo, the Repsol Honda rider said:

“Honestly speaking, for me it’s totally normal. I mean, even if Ducati don’t send anything… I mean, sometimes it’s not necessary to speak. If you are a professional rider and inside a team, you feel the team, you are smart, you have experience, and you understand that your team-mate is fighting for the championship and you’re just fighting for the race. It’s totally normal and I completely agree with what they are doing and great job.”

Race Direction maintains that the new-for-2017 dashboard messages only relay the same information as could be placed on a pit board.

"You have to remember that teams are communicating with their riders anyway with pit board signals. They can easily put a 'P2' on there, meaning drop back a place or something," Race Director Mike Webb told earlier this year.

Most MotoGP machines have 3-4 different engine maps available... not 8.



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