With the MotoGP silly season fast approaching, much has been made of the internal team rivalries inside of the Fiat Yamaha and Repsol Honda garages. Speculation has been rife that the rivalries have helped to upset the delicate balance that exists within the teams. But when the question of how Rossi's absence would affect Jorge Lorenzo was put to Andrea Dovizioso during his Thursday afternoon debrief, the Repsol Honda rider disagreed, saying that the rivalries only served to make the team stronger.
The question came up after Dovizioso was asked about the reported signing of Casey Stoner to Honda. Here's what Dovizioso had to say on the matter:
Q: In a European magazine there was a story that Casey Stoner had definitely signed for Repsol Honda. Is this something that bothers you, or is it something you can't control so you don't worry about it?
Andrea Dovizioso: I don't know. I don't think so, because if it happened, I think Honda would have told me, because we have a really good relationship with Honda. And especially I'm not afraid about that. Also if I am, it doesn't change for me. Unfortunately, I'm still not near the fastest riders, but I still don't have the potential to decide my own future. Anyway, before you can think of the future, you need to get the results. Now we made four races, three podiums, so it is a good result, but not enough. Now we will focus on that, and not on the future, because we want to make results, and especially my position, my situation now, I'm not afraid about my situation.
Q: How do you think Valentino's crash will affect the situation? Now Valentino is gone, there's one less person fighting for the front, but also, even though we all expect Valentino to come back strong, it's unknown how his injury will work out, so it might change the dynamics of the situation.
AD: Sure. Sure. Because Valentino wasn't as fast as Lorenzo the first three races. But sure, the experience of Valentino, he is really strong, and during the season would have been very strong, and would have been sure to fight for the title. But now, in his situation for him this is impossible. So it's important for us for the championship, because now we have more possibilities for the championship.
It looks like Lorenzo and Valentino have a very good package, but the fighting in the same team raises the level really high, and makes the results even better, makes faster speed, faster lap time. Now, without one of the two fastest riders, maybe it's more difficult for Lorenzo. Maybe.
Q: Do you think he will lose a little bit of motivation?
AD: It looks like that in Mugello, it looks like this.
Q: In Mugello, Lorenzo said he was scared after Rossi's crash, that it affected him.
AD: I don't believe that.
Q: Do you think the same rivalry you have between you and your teammate raises the level too, as it does for Rossi and Lorenzo?
AD: Yes, much more than last year. Last year, we weren't fast enough to fight with Pedrosa. This year we are much faster, and Dani became faster, so I think it can be good for us, this fighting. To try to fight for the championship.