At Mugello, Petrucci had missed the front row because of a small mistake that he did not make at Barcelona, taking home the satisfaction of earning a seat in the Saturday press conference: “It’s good to see you again. I hope to be here tomorrow too” the Italian joked.
That was not Petrux’s only banter as he joked about that fact that, as a police officer, he remembered Miller’s mistake yesterday on the chicane: “I would have given him a sobriety test.”
All joking aside, Danilo is gaining confidence and the third place will be a nice springboard for the race tomorrow.
“I hope that starting from the front will help me to limit tyre wear, unlike what happened at Mugello - he hopes - The second part of the race here will be critical for everyone, plus I am very aggressive on the throttle. That is why I often study Lorenzo and Dovizioso’s data, because they have more experience. The strategy would be to stay calm at the beginning, but there will be a big group of riders that will want to get out front.”
His physical build is not an advantage from this point of view.
“For the photographs I am always next to Pedrosa and it’s embarrassing. I try to lose weight but I just can’t - he joked - But Dani, like Bautista, because of their weight have a small advantage. I see the Hondas as the favourites, but I wouldn’t rule out Valentino and Viñales either. The Yamahas seem not to have much grip, but they also wear the tyres less.”
There will be a special eye on the tyres tomorrow.
“It will be a difficult race, but I have never heard a rider say it would be easy - he said wryly – I am not in a great position for tyre wear, but we are also all in the same situation, so we’ll be able to make a play for it, even if we do not have the same weapons in our arsenal as we did at Mugello and our rivals are stronger.”
Petrucci is logically aiming high, partly because he does not want to be considered just an outsider anymore.
“I would like to take that label off by the end of the season. I want to be a rider who can consistently battle for 5th or 6th place - is his goal - I know that I still have a lot to learn, but this race and the next two will be very important for convincing Ducati to give me a Factory ride next year too.”
Good motivation to have a go.