Danilo Petrucci was unable to shine in the Friday free practice sessions on the Silverstone track. Lots of problems for Petrux with the asphalt on the British track, which does not seem to have improved, despite the works done to correct the problems with potholes, and especially a misunderstanding on the track with Jorge Lorenzo that could have cost them both dearly.
Danilo, twelfth in the combined standings, had this to say about the incident that could have cost him direct access to Q2.
“I had worked to do a time attack - Petrucci explained - and I had time for two more laps. In the first, I was pushing when I found Jorge coming out of pit lane, without caring about who might have been coming from behind. He stayed in the centre of the track and I almost hit him. For a moment I was scared. I thought ‘here, I’m going to hit him’. I was lucky that I released the brakes in time and went wide, and if it hadn’t gone that way, we would have really had a bad accident. To avoid him, I went straight into the sand. The tyres cooled down and when I got started again for the last attempt, I had very cold tyres and I couldn’t do any more than this. We’ll try again tomorrow morning.”
Do you think you’ll talk to Jorge about this misunderstanding on the track?
"I won’t speak to Jorge. It’s just that when I’m guilty of something, they always call me into Race Direction, but I don’t think they will do anything with him. Maybe I’ll bring it up in Safety Commission today.”
Besides the problem with Lorenzo, what kept you from being faster? The Ducatis seem to be rather fast here at Silverstone.
“Yes, the Ducatis is not bad here - Danilo confirmed - It is comforting, although for me it is hard to ride over the potholes, but that is my difficulty. We tried to do something this morning, but you can’t do anything about it. To try and improve when you go over the bumps, you get worse in all the other phases, so… They are dips, you are never still. The problem is that between the strong wind and these dips, you never feel the rear wheel touch, and I probably struggle with that more than the others. This afternoon, I tried to ride above these things, but it is clear that Dovi is doing very well, whereas I think we are about at the same level as Jorge. It is clear that we need to figure out how to use the tyres as usual. Hopefully there will be good weather tomorrow.”
So, the problem with the bumps at Silverstone does not seem to have improved, despite the work done.
“The new asphalt has not improved compared to before. In fact, there are more potholes than before and it’s a pity because everyone was anxious to race here on one of the nicest tracks in the championship with a new surface. They probably said they resurfaced, but maybe they didn’t really do it because the potholes are more or less the same as last year, perhaps there are even more in different places. It’s a pity, but that’s okay. The situation is the same for everyone.”
The risk of rain could represent a big problem for Danilo who, not being in the top ten, could be forced to go through Q1.
“Today has a big impact because now it will rain and that was exactly what I didn’t want. We knew that the rain would come in the afternoon. We expected it and that is why we worked to put on the right tyre, but it didn’t help. I was rather far ahead at the beginning of the session, at least in the top ten. I don’t have the speed of Viñales, Marquez or Dovizioso. Those three are probably the fastest. But we were not in really bad shape. It is clear that now it is a problem. We need to play all of our cards tomorrow morning, hoping that the asphalt is in good condition and that it doesn’t rain.”