MotoGP Valencia: Lorenzo won't back up rivals for Dovizioso

Jorge Lorenzo has ruled out backing up other riders in a bid to help Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso beat Marc Marquez to the MotoGP title in Sunday's Valencia showdown

MotoGP Valencia: Lorenzo won't back up rivals for Dovizioso

Dovizioso has to win the race and hope Marquez finishes outside the top 11 to win the title, but the Italian's hopes took a dent during qualifying as he could only manage ninth place while his rival took pole.

Lorenzo meanwhile ended up fourth-fastest on the best of the Ducatis, but looked to have the pace to challenge Marquez until crashing early on.

In 2013, Lorenzo lost the championship to a then-rookie Marquez in a final-round Valencia showdown, despite his efforts to back up the pack to try and shuffle his adversary down the order.

But the Spaniard ruled out trying any such tactics on Sunday to help Dovizioso, conceding that his team-mate's chances of beating Marquez to the title are slim.

"You can do things, but it's not my mentality," said Lorenzo. "We have to play right.

"If [Dovi] is in the first group and there are not so many riders there, and he has a chance to win, it would be the ideal thing for him, knowing that Marc can make some mistakes or have some problems.

"He needs to win for sure, and he [Marc] needs to finish 12th or worse.

"It's very difficult for that to happen. It's easier that he has a failure of the engine or he crashes.

"The chances of Dovi are small, but there's always a risk and a hope in MotoGP."

For his part, Marquez said he doubts that Lorenzo would repeat the tactic he employed four years ago, and was sceptical that such a strategy could pay off given he only needs to finish 11th to be certain of claiming a fourth premier-class crown.

The Honda rider shares the front row with Johann Zarco and Andrea Iannone.

"I don't think so," he said. "In 2013 Jorge was the fastest one here in the practice and today Dovi at the moment doesn't have the fastest pace.

"He is fast, he is better than his ninth place on the grid [suggests], but he is not the fastest one so to slow down the race to get 11 riders in front, I don't know.

"If I'm put in his situation it is so difficult, but I don't want to think about this tomorrow. It is time to keep calm to be focussed on my bike.

"Normally I race with two eyes, tomorrow I need to have four eyes, try to control the others, try to let [a rider] pass if somebody is too aggressive."

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