Jorge Lorenzo’s recent MotoGP woes have been exacerbated by an approach that “doesn’t work at Ducati”, according to teammate Andrea Dovizioso.
Three-time champion Lorenzo switched to Ducati in 2017 after a fruitful stint with Yamaha, but has struggled badly to adapt to the Italian firm’s Desmosedici MotoGP bike.
The Spaniard is yet to win a race for Ducati, while Dovizioso has claimed seven victories and emerged as a regular premier-class frontrunner in the same timeframe.
During the previous race weekend at Le Mans, Dovizioso suggested Lorenzo had been too inflexible to get the most out of the Ducati bike.
“To be strong in today’s MotoGP is very difficult because there are many aspects to consider,” Dovizioso said.
“I don’t want to go into too many details, but Jorge was used to riding one type of bike and he had very clear ideas about how to ride and how to work.
“This type of approach doesn’t work at Ducati.
“Nothing takes away from what a great champion Jorge Lorenzo was and still is. But the results cannot always be obtained in the same way.
“Rather, for every situation you must try to be mentally open and adapt to get the maximum out of it.”
Lorenzo’s Ducati woes have echoed those of long-time teammate and adversary Valentino Rossi, who himself left Yamaha in 2011 for an ill-fated two-year stint with the Borgo Panigale manufacturer.
But when asked about the parallels, Dovizioso felt it was necessary to draw a line between the two cases.
“I think that when Valentino arrived at Ducati [in 2011], the situation was different and the bike was very particular,” said Dovizioso.
“I don’t want to say that it wasn’t competitive, because [Casey] Stoner won races with it, but it was a bike very far away from what we have today at Ducati.
“For this reason we have to distinguish between Valentino’s situation and Jorge’s.
“The Ducati now is competitive, it’s very fast and the riders are doing well. It’s not like when Stoner was the only one who could succeed and be fast.”
Lorenzo looks increasingly likely to leave the team at the end of the current contract, as Ducati is believed to be more keen on calling up one of Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller from Pramac instead.
Speaking at a media event at the Scrambler Ducati Food Factory in Bologna, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali expressed his regret that Lorenzo’s stint with the manufacturer has not been successful.
“Lorenzo is a great rider who has not succeeded in getting the best from our bike, a bike that has great strengths and some weaknesses,” he said.
“Unfortunately neither him nor the technicians have managed to make the most of his talent.
“This is a bit of bitterness that remains.”
Additional reporting by Matteo Nugnes