Pramac riders Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci both faced questions about possible Ducati team orders on Thursday at the Valencia MotoGP season  finale.

In Redding's case there is still debate over his decision to re-pass struggling title contender Andrea Dovizioso for 11th place late in the Australian Grand Prix, after earlier obeying a team order to allow the Italian ahead.

Firstly, given the mysterious 'Suggested Mapping: Mapping 8' message sent to Dovizioso's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo last time at Sepang, what was the order that Redding received?

"It was just, 'drop 1 position'," the Englishman replied.

"It was early on, after he went off track. I was in front of him. Then I got the message. I thought I'm not just going to move [out of the way] but when I saw him coming up the inside I let him by. He was faster, so I let him go.."

Dovizioso was making his way back though the field after dropping from 11th to 20th due to the mistake on lap 2 of the 27-lap race.

But his progress peaked with a return to 11th on lap 9, while Redding got ever stronger and was on the Italian's rear wheel by lap 23, with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa in turn pressuring him from behind.

"[Dovizioso] was two-seconds ahead and I had a faster rhythm, so what am I supposed to do? Just sit back and wait, or show people what I have. Everyone doubts me around here so when I have a chance to do it and things are working I need to do it.

"The whole weekend I was 2-3 seconds slower and on race day I was the first Ducati. It just opens peoples' eyes a little bit to think 'why has he gone from there to there', because I didn't go back and do some witchdoctor thing on the bike for Sunday!

"There were a couple of times when I thought about going past [Dovizioso] into the last corner, but I decided it was too big a risk and not worth it. So I prepared a safer place. I understand in the past, when Iannone took out Dovizioso, that is not acceptable. And I 100% respect that."

Pedrosa also overtook Dovizioso on the final lap, meaning a loss of two points.

"I've had some shit on the internet from people saying he [Dovizioso] is my team-mate. But he's not my team-mate," Redding said.

"I played it safe and it was just unfortunate because he shouldn't even have been where he was, if he didn't have that mistake. That's the way it goes.

"Dovi's won six races this year, which is amazing and it got him in the game. He's an experienced guy and he's clever. I don’t think it put pressure on him. It was just that Phillip Island was hard for all the Ducatis and it just goes to show, one small mistake and it's gone again. Especially when you are chasing.

"Honestly, I don't think it will come down to the those points, but if it does what do you want me to do? Racing is racing. I lost the Moto2 championship by braking my wrist when I'd never broke a bone in my body before.

"You can't just look at that one incident, there are lots of moments during a season when you could say 'if he did this or didn't do that'. It would be about more than two points."

Other incidents where Dovizioso lost points most notably include being taken out by Aleix Espargaro in Argentina. He also finished third, behind Petrucci, in Misano.

"If [the championship] does come down to a couple of points then I'll have some explaining to do, but in the end he's not my team-mate, we race for ourselves and I think also Dovi wouldn't want people moving out of the way for him.

"Then you didn't really win it, you got given it. Like cycling. They build it up for one guy to win.

"I don't think he'll lose sleep over it, but he's wise enough and smart enough to know what he needs to do."

Dovizioso heads into this weekend's finale 21 points behind Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez, meaning the Ducati rider must win to have any chance of the crown and then also hope Marquez finishes twelfth or lower.

"It would be nice for [Dovi] to win the title, but it's a big ask. He had one hand on it until Phillip Island when he went off the track, and now it's dropped back to one or two fingers.

"But there is a chance and anything can happen. I've always said that. You never know and it's never over until it's over."

Have you been told anything by Ducati for this weekend?

"No, they normally come on Sunday morning after warm-up. I know the deal. I don't go into a race thinking 'take out Dovizioso'! I have respect for all the riders and teams, but there is a balance you need to find for yourself."

In Petrucci's case, with four podiums to his name so far this season, the pre-Valencia emphasis was on whether he will be asked to assist Dovizioso if he is in contention for victory on Sunday.

"I don't think Dovi needs my help, because Dovi has to win and I cannot produce another 20 riders to put between him and Marquez!" Petrucci replied. "For sure Dovi has nothing to lose, but he has to win the race. Marc, I think, is at the moment the fastest rider in the championship. But nothing is decided yet.

"For sure it will be very difficult for both of them, because Marc has to stay up and Dovi has to win. I think the race will be more easy for Marc, he has only to stay up and finish the race. But it's not sure. Just like it's not sure Dovi can win the race.

"Anyway I don't think Dovi needs my help and I don't know how to help Dovi. So we will see."

Turning to his own season, Petrucci - who looks set to finish a career-best eighth in the world championship during his first year on a latest-spec Ducati – said he had achieved all but one of his goals.

"It has been a very good season for me. I reached almost all my targets at the beginning of the season, which was to be in the top ten and reach the podium sometimes," commented the Italian.

"The only target I missed was to be the top independent rider. Zarco has been faster. Maybe I have to stop four times for the bike and maybe if I finished those races I'd be in front. But 'if' or 'but' doesn’t get you far.

"So congratulations to him. He is a very, very fast rider and we do the challenge again next year to be the top independent and at the moment I'm happy with this season.

"We'll see what happens at this race. I cannot say now if I'm competitive or not. We have to wait for tomorrow and see if the tyres will adapt well to our bike. Then try to be as competitive as possible and for sure another podium would be great. It's always a good idea! But there are many riders with the same idea.

"We watch with not so much pressure the fight for the championship, because only a good position in the race is our target. Then we'll see."

Redding, using the year-old GP16 bike, will be starting his final race for Pramac before switching to Aprilia in 2018.

"I've had a great time here. Ducati and the whole team have been great to me. But there's not really an emotional attachment like being at VDS. I was two years here, I've had two different crew chiefs. It's been harder this year and harder for the guys to keep the spirits up. It's been harder for me as well, but I always kept on fighting.

"If I didn't want to do the best, you would have seen that at Phillip Island. I would have just given-up before the race started. I do want to do a good job because everyone here has worked so hard for me. We'll see what the weekend brings. On Sunday it's one era done and I'll move onto the next one. Something completely different. Different bike, factory team, and see what that can provide for me."

Redding is 13th in the world championship.

Jack Miller will ride alongside Petrucci at Pramac next season.


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