"It was a disaster." That's how Danilo Petrucci summed up his qualifying day at the Misano circuit. Danilo, who had also struggled a lot yesterday, ended his Saturday in the Q1 in 7th, a position that will place him 17th on the starting grid.
"I had a bunch of problems today," Petrux said. "I had no traction this morning, but I did in the afternoon, and a lot, so it was difficult to continue the work started yesterday. Even looking at the data, we didn't understand why, and it wasn't simple. I was good this morning with the used tires, but I didn't feel a difference with the new ones, and the same thing happened this afternoon, where I was faster with the medium ones than with the soft ones."
But yesterday, and also during the tests, you were positive about the possible progress of the race. Why this step backwards?
"I wasn't in a good position yesterday, but I was confident because I was not that far from the best. During the tests we did 2 weeks ago, we realized that we would have suffered this weekend, even if my pace was good.
What are your feelings today, after this bad qualifying session?
"I want to stay positive because I know my pace is not bad," Petrucci said. "I'll have to make a good start and try to finish at least in the top 10. There are so many riders in front of me, and it's really difficult to think of doing a good race."
Will you work on the bike in view of tomorrow's race to try to improve something?
"Actually, we changed a lot of things on the bike, but then we have to go back to the basic configuration because, for every one thing we improve, we worsen another. This is why I and all the other Ducati riders are on the standard bikes. Nothing works."
There was the Rossi-Marquez episode during the Q2 where, during the last lap, they almost came into contact. What do you think?
"Both were pushing. Marquez tried to go faster, he went wide, and Vale tried to slip in. I think they got unnerved."
Audio recorded by Gianmaria Rosati