MotoGP: Dovizioso and Lorenzo have a long history | Sport Rider

MotoGP: Dovizioso and Lorenzo have a long history

Ducati teammates Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo have been on the same grid against each other 250 times during their GP careers

motogp, 2017 motogp, andrea dovizioso, jorge lorenzo, ducati, 125cc GP, 250cc GP, 2004 qatar losail 125cc race

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo (left) and Andrea Dovizioso (right) have long been competitors against each other through their GP careers, with the pair having lined up on the grid against each other 250 times.

Photo courtesy of Ducati Corse

In 2017, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso will share a box for the first time, a situation that was bound to happen at some point. The Italian and Spaniard have coexisted in the World Motorcycle Grand Prix Championships since 2002. The pair have been racing alongside each other year after year in the same category since their arrival to the GPs. Dovizioso completed two races before Lorenzo, who was only able to join when he turned 15, on the Saturday of the ’02 Spanish GP in Barcelona.

In 2004, the 17-year-old Lorenzo and 18-year-old Dovizioso starred in one of the most unusual events in the racing world. It was the first time that the Qatari circuit of Losail hosted a GP. The 125cc GP class opened the show with an exciting battle between the two young riders. Dovizioso was aiming for the title, while Lorenzo for the glory of the race win. The intense race-long duel lasted until the finish line—literally.

The long Losail straight, with the finish line far from the last corner, promotes drafting battles, and it was with this tactic that Dovizioso had planned to beat Lorenzo. Once entering the straight, Dovizioso was situated just behind Lorenzo in the perfect position; as the pair raced to the finish line, Dovizioso’s Honda began to creep alongside Lorenzo’s Derbi.

motogp, 2017 motogp, andrea dovizioso, jorge lorenzo, ducati, 125cc GP, 250cc GP, 2004 qatar losail 125cc race

The finish of the 125cc GP race at the inaugural Losail MotoGP event, with protagonists Jorge Lorenzo (48, left) and Andrea Dovizioso (34, right) crossing the finish line in a dead heat. It was the first time in GP history for a race to be decided by whoever had turned the race's faster lap...which was Lorenzo.

Photo by Gold & Goose

The two crossed the finish line looking at each other without knowing who had won. They had reason to question who won from their perspective: when the finish line photo was examined to determine the winner, it showed that Lorenzo and Dovizioso had crossed the finish line at exactly the same moment. Thus, for the first time in GP history, the clause to determine a dead heat finish by which rider had turned the fastest race lap was used; that rider was Lorenzo.

Dovizioso and Lorenzo climbed up to the 250cc class together, where Dovizioso arrived with a World Championship title under his arm. The situation would switch in the 250 class, with the Mallorcan conquering two titles and the Italian finishing as runner-up twice to his now-teammate.

motogp, 2017 motogp, andrea dovizioso, jorge lorenzo, ducati, 125cc GP, 250cc GP, 2004 qatar losail 125cc race

Lorenzo and Dovizioso moved up to the 250cc Grand Prix class together in 2005, and the pair gave each other no quarter in their battles, as evidenced by this contact during the 2006 Turkish GP.

Photo by Gold & Goose

At the end of the 2007 season Lorenzo and Dovizioso again simultaneously decided to make the step up to the premier MotoGP class. Dovizioso's fantastic debut in MotoGP—he finished fourth in Losail on a satellite bike—would be eclipsed by the second place Lorenzo managed.

From March 26, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso will share the same colors, the same garage, will have the same opportunities and will aim for the same goal...15 years later.

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