21 times he crossed the line ahead of the rest, but on the last lap he saw Marquez overtake him and go on to take the win. How do you describe a feeling like that? “You know when you are watching a film and you really like it and then 10 minutes from the end you switch off the TV? That’s how it was” Danilo Petrucci finds the answer, naturally disconsolate about a win that he had nurtured for a long time.
“Right now it’s a mixture of feelings. Maybe this evening I’ll really realize that I finished on the podium - he continues - I knew that Marquez was behind me and I also knew that he would have a go on the last lap, but I believed I could win all the way to the end. However, I also know something important: I have no regrets, because Marc was faster and he earned the win.”
Danilo truly gave it his all and a 2nd place finish is an outstanding result.
“I am happy with the podium - he says - I don’t think I had the wrong strategy. I didn’t want to let Marc pass because I was afraid that he would run away at the front. On the last lap, after he overtook me, I tried to attack him on the fourth turn but I almost fell. I kept the bike up with my knee. Then I kept pushing, but I could see him continuing to pull away.”
There are also those who asked him if, at that point, he had thought about letting Dovi pass in view of the championship title.
“The thought crossed my mind - he admitted - Andrea was far behind and I was battling, but more than anything, giving up the position would not be a nice image for the championship. I think I would have been insulted like crazy, just like in 2015 in Valencia when Valentino overtook me because of a mistake I made and they called me a ‘canary’ for months. I hope to be able to help Dovizioso in the upcoming races, watching his back.”
This is not the first time this year he has missed a chance to win on the last lap. It had happened in Assen, when lapping Rins had kept him from the chance to attack Rossi.
“This time I had no problem… except for Marquez - he jokes - But I always say that the best race is yet to come and I’ll try again at Aragon. Today I hoped that Marquez would think about the championship, but he had other plans.”
In any case, Italy is lucky for the rider and for team Pramac, who finished on the podium in Mugello as well.
“It’s true, and Lorenzo did it in Spain, Zarco in France and Folger in German - he recalls - It must be something in the air. Anyway, today it was really easy to end up in the gravel. My weight gave me an advantage when there was a lot of water. Maybe if the track had been a little bit dry… but with ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ you go nowhere.”