Andrea Dovizioso thinks Danilo Petrucci using him for a tow in Aragon Grand Prix Q1 “wasn’t a smart move” as it knocked Ducati’s main MotoGP title hope out of qualifying.
All six Ducati riders didn’t make it into Q2 directly from FP3 at Aragon, with Dovizioso, Petrucci and Pramac’s Jack Miller the main protagonists in Q1.
Petrucci found himself behind his teammate in the closing stages and topped the session, while Dovizioso – who was setting session-best sectors – ended up second.
With Miller making a late improvement to move up to second, Dovizioso’s 1m47.752s proved good enough only for 13th on the grid.
Dovizioso – who is 18 points adrift of Fabio Quartararo in the standings – was visibly furious with this and feels Petrucci “didn’t have the speed” to be in Q2, so should have considered Dovizioso’s position in the championship.
“I went to qualifying with a good feeling,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com to explain what happened in qualifying.
“I did a really good lap time and I was able to be a bit faster in Q2 I think.
“We wanted to be in the first two rows, but I was disappointed because I don’t think Danilo did the right thing.
“He didn’t have the speed to be there and he followed me three times and he did the lap time behind me.
“I think with the relationship we have and that I’m the only Ducati rider who can maybe fight for the championship, it wasn’t a smart move. I was angry about that.”
Dovizioso insists he didn’t ask Ducati before qualifying to implement team orders.
“He did the lap time behind me three times because he didn’t have the speed,” Dovizioso added. “So, without me he wouldn’t be that fast.
“So, if you gain tenths because you follow me three times this means you try to be in Q2 with my side.
“If I’m the only Ducati rider [who can fight for the title] and we have a good relationship because I did a lot of things [for Petrucci], it wasn’t a smart move. I didn’t ask for help.”
Petrucci says he’s “so sorry” Dovizioso was dropped out of Q2, but says he’s “racing for myself” and he had to use “all my weapons” or else he would have to answer questions about his own lack of speed.
“I think we are free to race and it’s qualifying,” Petrucci, who qualified eighth, said. “I used all my weapons to get into Q2, for sure we’re struggling.
“In Le Mans we weren’t struggling and I didn’t follow anyone in the past.
“There’s no team order, I’m so sorry that Andrea is out of Q2 but if not I have to answer the question why I’m so slow.
“I’m racing for myself and recovering from a bad first part of the season and I have to use all the chance I have.”