Dovizioso glad Ducati MotoGP team avoided "F1" team orders in France

Andrea Dovizioso says he had no qualms about his Ducati MotoGP team allowing Danilo Petrucci to fight him at Le Mans instead of deploying team orders like "in Formula 1"

Dovizioso glad Ducati MotoGP team avoided "F1" team orders in France

Dovizioso was running second behind eventual race winner Marc Marquez in the late stages of the French Grand Prix, but came under pressure from team-mate Petrucci - who he admits was "a bit faster" at that point in the race.

Dovizioso, who stands as Ducati's main hope for the riders' title for a third straight campaign, was famously a benefactor of team orders back in 2017, when then-team-mate Jorge Lorenzo received coded messages in Malaysia and Valencia to let Dovizioso past.

Lorenzo did not obey on either occasion, while at Le Mans Petrucci was seemingly free to take on Dovizioso, finishing just a tenth and a half behind and stressing after the race that he "tried my best" but was wary of causing a crash.

Asked afterwards if Ducati should have considered ordering Petrucci to stay behind, Dovizioso said: "If you are in F1, yes, but in our championship no, and especially in the beginning of the season.

"It depends which way you want to look, if you want to take the maximum [points] maybe it can be a good idea, but in our sport most of the time it's not like this.

"It's good, Danilo is strong rider, in the championship he is in a good situation, he has to bring the maximum and I am happy to have this kind of fight.

"He tried, it was difficult because I was pushing really hard, I was struggling with the tyre but my lap time at the end was 1m32.8s, not too bad.

"But he didn't do something crazy and this is not what we need, and I am happy about that."

Dovizioso trails championship leader Marc Marquez by eight points after Le Mans, with Petrucci a further 30 down in fifth place.

"Today I was struggling, at the end to finish second was good, but I was fighting with the bike, especially the rear tyre," Dovizioso said.

"This is not good if you want to fight for the championship.

"At the end I was too slow. I could not keep good pace until the middle of the race, this is negative.

"We have to stay calm because we are very close [to Marquez]."

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