MotoGP

Furious Andrea Dovizioso rails at team-mate Danilo Petrucci after Q1 disaster

Andrea Dovizioso is left bewildered by his own Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci after he knocks him out of Q1, damaging his title hopes

Andrea Dovizioso has railed against his own Ducati team-mate after he was put on the back foot in his 2020 MotoGP World Championship bid by failing to progress beyond Q1 in Aragon.

On what has been a troubling weekend for the entire Ducati contingent, Dovizioso and his five Ducati counterparts all failed to make Q2 automatically, leaving them fighting over the two remaining spots via Q1.

However, Dovizioso - who is 18 points off Fabio Quartararo in the overall standings and realistically its last hope for a title tilt - was dumped out to leave him 13th on the grid.

Gallingly for him, not only was he knocked out by fellow Ducati counterparts Petrucci and Jack Miller, it emerged he was targeted specifically by Petrucci for the tow that ultimately eliminated him.

The situation clearly incensed the normally placid Dovizioso, who was seen throwing his gloves in the pit box when it emerged he hadn't made the cut.

"I went into qualifying with a good feeling. I did a really good lap time. I would have been able to be a bit faster in Q2. So I wanted to be on the first two rows and we couldn’t," Dovizioso said.

"I was disappointed because I don't think Danilo did the right thing. I mean he didn’t have the speed to be there and he followed me three times and he did his lap time behind me.

"We didn’t decide anything [beforehand]. We didn’t speak about it. Okay [being behind me for the first run] it's normal. But with the second tyre it happened again, the same.

"If you gain a tenth because you follow me three times this means you try to be in Q2 with my speed. And if I’m the only Ducati rider [able to win the title] and we have a good relation because I helped him with lot of things, it wasn’t a smart move.

"So I was angry about that."

Though Dovizioso says Ducati wasn't privvy to the situation, the outcome is likely to further strain relationships in the camp after the Italian - a three-time runner-up - announced his exit from the team because he felt he is being undervalued.

"I didn’t ask for any help," Dovizioso said, referring to Petrucci. "He did a lap time behind me three times, because he didn’t have the speed. So without me he couldn’t be that fast.

"We don’t have to make an agreement. I think it's just to think in a smart way! I did my lap time and if you want to make a good lap time you will do [yourself]. But not against me and not making the lap time because you follow me.

"I think it’s stupid, if we're thinking about the championship.

"I don’t think in this case it was a Ducati move. I think it was more to use your brain when you ride," he said. "I think Danilo’s quite a smart person - if I compare to a lot of riders! – but it didn’t happen today."

Though Dovizioso and Petrucci have a good relationship, with the former the first to congratulate his team-mate for his win last weekend, Petrucci was making no excuses for his actions

However, in words that again reflect back at Ducati, he suggested his own awkward relationship with the team ultimately forced him to go rogue in his strategy.

"I got no information or advice [from the team before the session], nothing, just do my best," said Petrucci, who eventually qualified in eighth place.

"For sure I used Andrea like a target, but it's like in Barcelona and here since yesterday that I lose almost 5-8km/h on the straight, so I need a slipstream to not lose too much.

"I think we are free to race, it's a qualifying and I used all my weapons to get into Qualifying 2."

Both Dovizioso and Petrucci - race winners in 2020 - will leave Ducati at the end of the season, the former walking away from contract negotiations, while the latter was dropped from its 2021 line-up prior to the start of 2020.

Petrucci will switch to Tech 3 KTM while Dovizioso is yet to source a ride, with the minimal options available to looking increasingly likely to leave him on the sidelines in 2021 despite his title credentials.

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