Lorenzo: 2017 MotoGP team-mates Rossi and Vinales are collaborating

Jorge Lorenzo has suggested that Yamaha's 2017 MotoGP team-mates Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales have formed a "strategy" to help each other

Lorenzo: 2017 MotoGP team-mates Rossi and Vinales are collaborating

Reinging champion Lorenzo will leave Yamaha at the end of this season to join Ducati, and will be replaced by current Suzuki rider Vinales.

Lorenzo qualified fifth for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, as Rossi and Vinales twice lapped in tandem during the 15-minute session.

REPORT: Rossi takes late pole for Italian GP

Vinales followed Rossi to move up to second place on his opening run, before Rossi followed Vinales on his late lap that would ultimately secure his first Mugello pole since 2008.

Vinales then improved again, but wound up 0.094 seconds shy of his future team-mate.

"My strategy is to be alone, to try to be as fast as possible," Lorenzo said.

"Some other riders are good to search or to wait for somebody and it looks like in the case of Rossi and Vinales it's not a casual occurrence, it's a strategy that they have."

When asked about it on Saturday evening, Honda's Marc Marquez said he had also noticed the proximity of Rossi and Vinales.

Asked to clarify his comments, as to whether he thought Rossi and Vinales had planned ahead or if he felt it was a coincidence, Lorenzo said: "Well it's a coincidence, a coincidence repeated five or six times.

"It's difficult to have so many coincidences. But who knows."

ROSSI DISMISSES PLAN TALK

When asked about Lorenzo's comments and comparisons to his own allegations late last year - that Marquez was working to help Lorenzo win the title - Rossi said nothing was "programmed" between himself and Vinales.

"First of all, the big difference is that last year happened in the races. This year is just the qualifying," Rossi said.

"When you are on track you try also to follow the other riders, especially the new guys riding in MotoGP and when I try to follow Vinales to understand the way he rides, he's not a rider that closes the throttle.

"He always continues to push for a minimum of one lap, and also this happened a lot of times with Andrea Iannone.

"So when you are in front you have to do the same. There's nothing programmed before, it's just the case that usually we wait [to leave pitlane] late to have no traffic.

"So I think today anyway Maverick is not very happy that I was behind because if I didn't do that lap he would get pole position.

"But at the end, it's true that he helped me. I copied."

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