Dovizioso: Petrucci lacked self-belief before 2019
Andrea Dovizioso says his Ducati teammate Danilo Petrucci lacked self-belief earlier in his MotoGP career, and feels Petrucci's breakthrough is down to understanding his strengths.
Petrucci, signed by Ducati on an initial one-year deal after a long stint as a MotoGP privateer, took his maiden win in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, beating Marc Marquez and Dovizioso.
Dovizioso and Petrucci began to train together in the off-season ahead of their first campaign as teammates, and after Mugello Petrucci thanked Dovizioso for “adopting me like a brother”.
Asked how he personally benefitted from a closer cooperation with Petrucci that seemed to be making his teammate a more dangerous rival, Dovizioso said: “Well, I think Danilo improved this season because he believes more in his self, and he understood his potential, what in the past he didn't really believe on that, and really didn't analyse and realise the good point of him.
“To train together - in our sport we can't train on a MotoGP, we have to find something different, but every time we're going flat track [racing] or motocross, we push each other. This puts us on the limit, we take the risk but it's part of our sport and I think it works, because fortunately both we came from motocross so we have this similar base.
“So in motocross we are quite fast, flat track we are similar, so we can really every time try to beat each other, and this is good.
“Yes, the consequence is the risk [that he will beat me], but I think can help both, because he's really talented and I think it's really positive.”
Petrucci's “very aggressive” overtake at Mugello led to Dovizioso dropping behind Marquez and losing ground in the title race.
However, Petrucci has since vowed to fully focus on helping out Dovizioso's title campaign against Honda's reigning champion.
Queried on the type of help he'd be expecting from Petrucci in the title race, Dovizioso said: “Nothing strange. I think like we did until now.
“If we can speak during the practice, we analyse, tyres, set-up, if you follow some other riders. Everything you can understand from the practice can always help you to manage every situation in a better way, I think.”
Quartararo undergoes arm pump surgery
Rossi concedes Yamaha's mid-season drop-off a trend