Another solid MotoGP weekend had just passed, but Danilo Petrucci couldn’t hide his frustration at narrowly missing out on a podium finish, with the Italian critical of Jorge Lorenzo’s attempts to resist his pass late into the race.

Having qualified on the front row on Saturday, Petrucci finished Sunday’s 30-lap outing at the Sachsenring fourth, 0.7s away from the podium and the first of four Ducatis, as each of the Desmosedici machines suffered with tyre wear in the closing laps.

Petrucci admitted he “was in trouble” at the two-thirds mark of the race as he fought to manage the rapidly diminishing rear grip. At that point he was attempting to move by Lorenzo, while Maverick Viñales was closing in from behind.

As he maneuvered under Lorenzo at turn one, the Majorcan cut off the corner, and accelerated back past. There was contact, and Petrucci hinted it was intentional. “I think he decided to touch me,” he said.

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“I was in trouble at, I think ten laps to go, and Rossi and Lorenzo were a little bit too far, and I was in trouble with my rear tyre, and especially I got Dovizioso, Bautista, and Viñales behind me, and I say, ‘Oh no, I finish seventh today!’ But I tried to push my best and then I was seeing my gap was getting bigger and bigger, and Lorenzo getting closer.

“I did a 1m 21.9s to catch him on one of the last laps. But then he went wide at Turn 1, and I was on the inside, quite calm, because I saw he was wide. But then he saw me and I think he decided to touch me, because he was behind and he touched me on my front tyre.

“So I think he saw me and did, not voluntarily but for sure he didn't try to avoid me, and we lost one second compared to the laps before. And maybe with that 1 second I could finish on the podium, but for sure Maverick was faster, because he had more tyre and he passed me where I couldn't answer him.

“From T7 to T8, I decided to close all the braking areas where I was so strong, Turn 1, Turn 12, but in that point in Turn 7, it's a long corner with a lot of spin and slide, and for me it was impossible to resist to him. And anyway, I would like to thank my whole team for the great work, and we'll see. We go on holiday in a good shape.”

Switching attentioning back to Lorenzo’s move, did Petrucci feel it cost him a place on the podium?

"I don't know [laughs]. I want to think that Lorenzo touched me and I lost the podium, but at the end, the fact is that Maverick was faster at the end, and he beat me.

“Yes, for sure it's a pity that I lost the podium, because I lost one second with maybe three laps, four laps to go, when I passed Lorenzo later. But anyway, this is racing, and we'll see at the next one."

Could he see the problems Lorenzo was having?

“I don't know. He chose the soft front tyre, maybe it was that. For sure the soft front was good for turning, I think it was better for doing maybe five or six laps, it had better turning power. But then I think, for me, the problem was the overheating.

“You always try to turn left, turn left, turn left. In the end I think he was in trouble with the front, but for sure, he was not so clever to do that line in Turn 1, because I saw even with Rossi, he was catching him from the outside and I don't know what were his thoughts about that line.

“Mine was medium / medium. And Jorge had soft front and medium rear. My problem was the rear, I had not much rear tyre, a lot of spin and Maverick passed me. But for Lorenzo the problem was both front and rear, because he got soft front and maybe at the end he was a little bit in trouble compared to me.”

Lorenzo: 'Back to the clean line as soon as possible'

When Lorenzo was asked about the Petrucci incident, he countered:

“The rider in front has no view, if you go wide and on the dirt, you are going to try to go back to the clean line as soon as possible. If not, you go to the dirty line, for all the corner, or maybe you go to the grass and the gravel.

“You must come back [on the line] sooner or later. Is normal. You try to slow down, to go as soon as possible. But the rider behind, must know, that the rider in front is going to come back sooner or later, so you need to be careful. But he said, 'this is my opportunity. I go. I open more the throttle'. That was the problem.

“I think in my opinion he needs to understand the rider go wide, he needs to [think], 'I will have another opportunity but I’m faster than the rider in front, I will overtake him in another corner'. But he saw his opportunity and he entered. That was the problem, in my opinion. Because I cannot keep in the dirty line forever, obviously.”

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