Beating your team-mate is the first rule in MotoGP - like any motorsport - and has seen riders go to extreme lengths to keep the secrets of their success away from the other side of the garage.

Not so in the case of Andrea Dovizioso and new team-mate Danilo Petrucci.

To help make the most of what could be a 'life-changing' factory Ducati chance, Dovizioso has taken Petrucci under his wing to prepare for the 2019 season.

Petrucci will be based close to Forli to be with the double MotoGP title runner-up. But they won't just train together, Dovizioso has given the younger Italian access to the same sport psychologist he credits with helping him become Ducati's most successful rider since Casey Stoner.

"Now we have the same doctor, the same psychologist. Dovi gave me everything, he said, 'In the last two years, I've improved because I stayed with these people. Now these people are available for you, because I think if you are very, very fast this year it can change your life. So you have nothing to lose'," Petrucci revealed.

Petrucci, who has taken six podiums and a best of eighth in the world championship at the satellite Pramac team before being hired to replace Jorge Lorenzo, admitted he was initially confused by the extent of Dovizioso's generosity.

"I said, 'Okay, but why are you doing this? Why are you telling me all your secrets?'

"And he said, 'I need your help, maybe at the beginning you need more my help, but since the first test I will need you for a comparison because I know you are fast in certain situations and you can give me a help.

"So when you are not fast I give you a help and we can [help] each other, riding together from motocross [training] to MotoGP'.

"Working together with Andrea especially I notice a change in his way of life. It's quite different. It's more cautious of his potential. And this makes me very calm and positive about the future.

"Also staying with him at home is important for me because I can pick some secrets around and it's useful for me at this moment!"

Pressed on what has changed from his previous MotoGP preparation, Petrucci began with the physical side:

"In the past I followed a sport medical group coming from Formula One and, we are still friends, but Dovi gave me this chance and it's a different way of thinking about the preparation.

"When I started to work together with Dovi, training together at his place with a motocross bike and in the gym, he said, 'but what are you going to do, the Olympics or MotoGP?’

"Because for me it was normal to have three hours of training per day.

"And he said, 'you don’t have to focus on the quantity, you have to focus on the quality. You have to train shorter, but more intense, for what you need. And I can give you my advice and my psychologist who will help you to understand your body and mind to become better’.

"Because usually I had so much training that I arrived at the races already tired. And you are training, training, training, and you arrive at the race and in the last five laps – not always, but sometimes – I said, 'okay, what do I miss to be more fast?'"

In terms of the mental aspect with the sport psychologist, Petrucci said:

"I was already very prepared as far as mental training in terms of reaction, reflex and concentration, because in my past I worked a lot with Formula Medicine with these kind of things.

"But I said, 'I need really a psychologist that gives me a key to solve a problem that, maybe when I see all dark I need to look at something in another way'.

"So [the psychologist] gave me an exercise for this month, which is not to complain.

"It's not easy! Because I say, 'Oh f**k, it’s raining'. But I have to try to look at everything from the other perspective. It's raining so I have time to maybe prepare all my things at home, read a book. The exercise is like this.

"Because you can train the brain. If you are always complaining, then you are always looking at the 1% that doesn't fit and not at the 99% that is good. You say 'yeah, but…'. There is always a 'but'.

"You have to look at what you have and do your best with what you have.

"It's not easy but I feel more happy and I feel more conscious about myself. For sure talk is easy, making results is another thing, but I'm really looking forward to jumping on the bike to see how everything is going in this way."

Asked about their training partnership, Dovizioso said:

"With Danilo, I did just one training [so far]. We created a different situation. I think he will live close to my city of Forli. We will train a lot together on the bike, all the sports we can do apart from the real training in the gym.

"He is also able to work on some other stuff like me [the psycologist], and I think that can help him a lot in his situation now. Because he is so fast, already in the last two years he showed a lot of speed, but he had to learn in some other parts.

"I think we can make a really good work together, but we'll see."

Petrucci said he has no qualms about changing his approach to racing given the level of success twelve-time MotoGP winner Dovizioso has achieved.

"I've never had a team-mate that on paper is, for sure, really better than me," he explained. "Jack [Miller] was a challenge last year and we made many races together. In the past with Scott [Redding] it was the same level, but at the end of the championship I was above my team-mates.

"So this year is the opposite maybe. I have to look to another rider that I can only learn from. So I think to stay close to Andrea is a big help… we need each other. Because Andrea wants, truly, to win the championship and I want to be useful for him and for Ducati. To make a great season and fight for the top five in all the races."

Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna wants a similar level of co-operation between his riders during MotoGP events, suggesting the team suffered due to the breakdown in relations between Dovizioso and Lorenzo.

"One of the things we have definitely changed [this year] is the rider strategy. We have chosen to move from two riders who think independently of each other, acting in their own interest, regardless of the good of the team, to a system that if possible, will attempt to optimise the overall results of the team," Dall’Igna said.

"I'm not talking about team orders, but I'm talking about the synergy in the development of the bike, and in the setup of the bike during the race weekend."

Petrucci is the only factory rider on a single-year contract and knows the likes of Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia are waiting to take over should he not make a success of 2019.


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