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Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) has touched on the subject before, but as the title fight heats up between fellow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, the question was asked once more in the pre-event Press Conference in Australia: will he help Dovizioso?
“I don’t think Dovi needs my help,” was the immediate response from the Motegi podium finisher. “99% of the time he’s faster than me in both the practices and races. I think Dovi can do it by himself and he’s very fast.”
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Petrucci: "Dovi doesn't need my help"
That he is, taking his fifth win of the year in Japan and passing Petrucci on the way. So the other question mark was team orders, with both men on Borgo Panigale factory machines, but that’s not a topic that has come up inside the garage – and it hadn’t done in Japan, either.
“I didn’t let Dovi past in Japan, I was on a different line, braked harder and went a little bit wider. It was a normal overtake. I don’t want to make a mess with him, but neither do I with other riders! At the moment we don’t have team orders or anything, we’re racing every man for himself.”
With some spectacular results, and another showdown set for Sunday at 16:00 (GMT +11).