There was a Ducati that left its mark on Wednesday at Phillip Island. It was not the one ridden by Lorenzo, nor Dovizioso’s, but rather it was Danilo Petrucci’s. In the final phases of the session the rider from Umbria flexed his muscles, jumping up to sixth place ahead of Pedrosa’s Honda. Even he could not believe it.
“Today was our first real day of work since we began. I got out on the track straight away, trying to do as many laps as possible, and in the end I was able to do more than eighty. In the final moments I also used the new tyre, making a good time. We are very close to the front runners and I like the bike more and more.”
Did the Ducati with the new tail fairing strike you?
“I must say that it performs better. I did not think it would be so different, especially going into corners and in terms of traction. In the afternoon I was able to maintain a good pace, maybe not to win, but definitely to stay close to the top riders.”
Can we define it as love at first sight?
“Definitely. We got along straight away.”
How much confidence does today’s performance give you?
“A lot of confidence. I wanted to see if I would be able to stay at the front with the new tyres and I received the responses that I had hoped for. I continued lapping in the high 1’30”s with used tyres, seeing big improvements. There is an unmistakably substantial difference.”
What do you have planned for tomorrow?
“We will continue working on the setup, but we need to reach a higher level. I am sure that the others will also improve, but we need to do so as well.”
Do you plan to do a race simulation?
“Maybe on the third day, perhaps doing 2/3 race distance. Unfortunately, there was always some problem that kept me from doing it. I will definitely do it in Qatar. Here it will be primarily just to assess my physical condition.”