Ducati’s technical chief Gigi Dall’Igna has insisted the dashboard messages sent to Jorge Lorenzo through the second half of the 2017 MotoGP finale at Valencia were ‘a suggestion’ rather than ‘an order’.

Engaged in a thrilling five-way fight for the win during Sunday’s final grand prix of the year, Lorenzo, fourth, led team-mate and title hopeful Andrea Dovizioso with the trio of Johann Zarco, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa just ahead.

Sensing the Italian may possess the quicker pace, Ducati management signalled for Lorenzo to allow Dovizioso through. But the Majorcan felt he could best aid his team-mate by staying in front, pulling him ever closer toward the leaders.

Speaking on Monday, Dall’Igna backed his rider, explaining he had “more information” on the bike than the team “sitting on the chair, watching on the TV” and said he and others in Ducati management had misunderstood the situation.

“This was a suggestion, not an order,” Dall’Igna said. “This year we have some races you can win if you are fast. And there are some races you can win if you are able to control and not destroy above all the rear tyre until the end of the race. And yesterday’s race was the second one. You have to be on the final part of the race really close to the first riders and with the best possible rear tyre.

“You know, the wear of the rear tyre yesterday was a problem. So our suggestion is that the fastest riders have to stay in front to stay in contact with the first riders to have the possibilities for Dovi to win the race. This is our goal during the race.

“Our opinion watching the TV was Dovi was the fastest rider and so we would like him to be in front of Lorenzo. The riders have a different opinion. Lorenzo, when he saw our signal on the dashboard tried to be a little bit more fast so that Dovi cannot catch him and so that he was the fastest rider and he continued in front. I think it was our misunderstanding watching the TV and so that’s it.”

Clarifying his comments, the Italian added, “You know, at the end the rider on the bike for sure have more information than us sitting on the chair and watching the TV. For sure, apart from when it’s absolutely logical [he should follow directly].

"I know Jorge very well and for sure if he had to leave Dovi in front because Dovi could win the championship for sure he would do this. I’m quite confident and sure about that.”


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