TEXAN TANGLE Ducati star taken out for second race in a row as another podium is ripped from his grasp
Lightning doesn’t strike twice – unless you’re Andrea Dovizioso! The luckless Italian was taken out through no fault of his own for the second week in succession.
This time it was Dani Pedrosa who smashed into Dovi’s factory Ducati as he held a solid third place after six laps with second-placed Lorenzo within reach. Last time out it was his teammate Andrea Iannone who took him out on the last lap in Argentina while they battled for second spot.
Dovizioso was fuming with Iannone after the unforced error last week, but he had a lot more sympathy for Pedrosa after the Texan takedown. Honda’s number two rider rushed to the side of an inconsolable Dovizioso trackside before visiting him in his garage after retiring from the race to again apologise for the error.
And, with those actions, Dovizioso says that it’s hard to hold a grudge. Although he clearly holds a Desmosized grudge where team-mate Iannone is concerned.
“It’s always bad to lose points if someone else makes a mistake – but there is a way to manage it. If their career is long and they don’t do something like that often, you know it isn’t their intention; it wasn’t Dani’s intention to try to hit me.
“I’ve known Dani for years and he isn’t a rider who normally takes risks. It can happen to anyone on the limit, and Dani isn’t a kamikaze racer who tries to overtake you on the brakes every time. It’s different compared to Argentina.”
Dovi also fired another shot across the bows of his team-mate by highlighting the effect his reckless riding in Argentina could have on his future at Ducati, as both compete to retain a seat alongside new signing Jorge Lorenzo for next season.
He added: “I don’t think Ducati will decide the future of the riders on their points alone. They can be intelligent and analyse all the riders and see what they need. It isn’t just about speed. But even then, in the first few races I was fast and I should have been on the podium, so I’m relaxed!”
Somehow Dovi is staying positive and he knows that without the two clashes he would have had three podium finishes under his belt and be close to championship leader Marc Marquez. “There are a lot of positives. In three very different and very difficult races, we were always able to fight for the podium, and although we’re not the fastest we’re there in the race. My feeling on the bike still isn’t 100% to fight for wins, but I’m so happy to have the potential to fight. In the first two races of the year, I rode the perfect strategy – what happened wasn’t my fault.”