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.
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.
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.