Predictably, the first of the Grand Prix in Valencia was affected by unstable weather conditions. At the end of the first day of free practice, in the wet, Danilo Petrucci did not offer the performance everyone expected from him. The Ducati man finished the first session in the morning with the sixth fastest time, but the afternoon, on the other hand, did not bear fruit and he finished eighteenth on a wet track.
The rider from Terni was the protagonist of a crash without consequences in the last corner, five minutes from the end of FP2. He ran back to the pits to make amends, but without finding the bike ready, so he was forced to stop a few minutes before the end.
"During those two minutes the team was unable to fit the tyres, which was a shame, because I ran for two and a half minutes with ten kilos of equipment on and Tardozzi told me the bike was not ready to go back on track. Maybe they didn't expect that I would run so fast. It was a pity especially because I was fast this morning. This afternoon I made a mistake, but I was pushing and for sure with that lap I would have gone straight to Q2. Now the situation has become a little more difficult. But if we are fast we will be able to be fast also tomorrow. For sure, going through Q1 is always complicated. As far as performance is concerned, both the team and I made a mistake. "
Petrucci, however, gave a good demonstration of athleticism…
“When we ride we already have the heart rate at 160/170, so add to that picking up the bike with ten kg of equipment, including overalls, helmet and boots. Especially with the leathers in the gravel, I think the heartbeats were over the limit. I was really exhausted when I got to the garage. Also because on the bike it takes a moment from the last corner, but on foot it is a bit longer. Luckily I've done a lot of running this week and I needed it. As I said, I made a mistake and the team made a mistake, so we can't blame anyone. Of course, if the bike had been ready I could have done at least one more lap ”.
One of the most talked-about topics in the paddock in these hours is undoubtedly the investigation into the Yamaha engines. Danilo , despite not being affected by this, clarified the problem: a precedent has been created for the future.
“For me it's not a big problem, unfortunately I'm not fighting for the championship victory even if with the points it would still be possible. For sure it is strange that this penalty has come in the last few races, it is especially difficult to understand why they penalized the manufacturers and not the riders, perhaps this could be something that can be exploited in the future, because then it means that you can use different parts for the engine and you will not have any penalties in the riders’ championship ".
The crash at the last corner may have affected the start of tomorrow’s qualifying. The #9 does not seem to be frightened by the speed of his Ducati, but what could most affect his performance tomorrow seems to be the rain.
"Looking at the ideal time, I'm eighth but it doesn't matter. I was doing a good lap and unfortunately I crashed at the last corner, it was a pretty stupid crash, but I was quite at the limit in that part of the circuit, also because there were some wet patches. I was disappointed to make that mistake and more than anything else it seems that it will rain again tonight, so tomorrow morning it will be impossible to improve, I think I will have to go through Q1. "
Audio recording by Nicole Facelli