Jorge Lorenzo has responded to Danilo Petrucci’s claims that he wasn’t adverse to making contact with the Pramac Ducati when defending third position in Sunday’s MotoGP outing at the Sachsenring, stating he had the right to choose the line he wanted.

The Majorcan’s efforts to secure a podium place were thwarted by rapidly diminishing rear grip which caused the 31-year old issues when attempting to stop the Ducati GP18. His decision to run Michelin’s soft front was the correct one, Lorenzo said.

A lack of rear grip led to his near moment with Petrucci. Six laps from the flag, the Majorcan was wide at turn one. With Petrucci on his inside, Lorenzo moved back onto the racing line to enter turn two ahead.

As the rider in front, this was his right, he explained. “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,” said Lorenzo. “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 sooner or later. Is normal.

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“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 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 come, 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.”

Focussing on the ninth race of the year, in which Lorenzo ultimately finished sixth, a place ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, he explained his decision to run the soft front compound was not the reason for his lack of pace late in the race.

“I’m able to use the front, because the bike doesn’t damage so bad the front like other tracks. So I think I won in Mugello with the soft front. I won in Montmelo with the soft front. I used it also in the last two races. Today hasn't been a problem, the front. Was perfect until the end.

“The problem was the rear tyre. The rear tyre, because already with this track everyone had problems during all the weekend to survive with the rear tyre, but especially I think we made a mistake to try to improve the front feeling that I always miss in general with this bike, losing a little bit the rear in the worst moment because we need a lot of rear grip in that location.

“So this creates a big drop from the moment I start to lose this 1m 22.0s. It impossible to have a normal acceleration, even if I changed a lot my way of accelerating in the exit of the corners. So that’s when everyone, four or five riders started to pass me, overtook me. Even if I try my best until the end, there was no rear grip.

“It looks like Marc in the last two races he used the soft rear tyre where normally he’s using the medium or the hard. So I don’t know if they found something to be able to use this tyre or they concentrate in the weekend to use this tyre.

“I did a bit the opposite. In the last two races to improve the second part of the race we used the medium. Here, honestly, with the setting we chose, it was impossible to finish the race with the soft.

“So we didn’t have any option than go with the medium. But the medium has less grip in the center, in the sides. At the beginning with the new tyre we are able to stop the bike quite well in the braking.

“But when you start losing the rear grip, especially with a different setting that we choose this weekend, evidently you cannot stop the bike. So especially in Turn 1, I didn’t stop the bike and I had to go wide.

“I tried, I tried to brake early, but even braking earlier I was going wide. Just in the last three laps I braked 50 meters before. It was a big drop. Suddenly a big drop. For me it was a surprise that I didn’t stop the bike.”

The result leaves Lorenzo sixth in the world championship with ten races to play.

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