Andrea Dovizioso lauded Jorge Lorenzo as one of the best team-mates he has ever had before aiming a thinly-veiled dig at former Ducati MotoGP partner Andrea Iannone.

Last season, the hard-riding Iannone clashed with Dovizioso several times on track, wiping out his fellow Italian from second place when a double podium was in sight on the last lap in Argentina.

However, following Lorenzo’s move to Ducati for 2017, Dovizioso has expressed nothing but positive sentiments for three-time premier class champion, who finished as the runner-up in the wet at Sepang behind Dovizioso in Malaysia.

“I say this from last year in Valencia, I feel immediately good with him because like what happened in the past, he didn’t think to try to make something bad to me or try to create a strange situation inside the box. He is so concentrated on his side, in his work, in his team,” he said.

“Every time when everybody looks on the TV if he makes a lap time, you make a comparison, ‘his riding style is different’, but I didn’t have any problem about that. He has his character and it didn’t create to me any problem, so about that, for sure [best team-mate]. I believe I am a calm guy and I don’t want to create any strange situation to anybody so I am happy about that.

“I was glad I have a good team-mate also in the past, but not everyone! In Argentina that time it was a completely different story and we fight for the place in Ducati. Everybody saw what happened.”

Dovizioso needed to win the race at Sepang to keep his championship hopes alive and when he moved into second place, all eyes were on Lorenzo to see whether or not he would allow his team-mate through into the lead. However, the situation never arose as Lorenzo made a mistake at turn 15 and almost went down, enabling Dovizioso to snatch the lead on his own merit.

Dovizioso later refused to be drawn into a debate about the scenario and said Lorenzo ‘didn’t have the margin to play’.

“Jorge I think is a clever guy and he explained what happened today to fight. I lose the front when I was alone and he lost the front when he was alone,” he said.

“The grip was very low and if you wanted to push, there wasn’t the margin to try to play. I think he rode very well for three-quarters of the race and I saw him try to limit some mistakes because he lost a little bit of grip on the rear, and it created more problems on the front.

“I was able to see him from the first lap so I know everything, all the details, and he couldn’t see me. He was faster in some points and I was faster in other points,” he added.

“I think in different conditions he was able to fight more than what he did today but I think we push at the maximum until four laps from the end.”

Dovizioso has won six times this year to mount a title challenge and while he concedes that the Ducati is a stronger package this season, he stressed that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect bike’.

“Unfortunately a perfect bike doesn’t exist; every bike has positive and negative characteristics and to have a really good balance you have to be fast in every track, every conditions. Our pace this year for sure is better and if you are second in the championship then our bike is good, but the way you manage the weekend and the bike makes a big difference,” said the 31-year-old.

“Our bike is not easy and you can ask Jorge, it takes time for him to adapt and compete because it is a different bike to what he was riding until now.

“From outside when you are doing a good job the bike looks so good, but from my experience I can say it is not like this. A fast rider can mask a negative point of a bike, so it’s impossible from outside to know all the positive and negative points of a bike,” he added.

“Anyway, our bike is so good and our balance this season is good – my results are really consistent. Unfortunately sometimes I did a 9, a 10 or a 13 in Phillip Island and it cost the fight for the championship, but which way you want to look at it, we won six races.”



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