Second at the end of free practice on the Sachsenring, Danilo Petrucci has every right to smile. Bested only by Jorge Lorenzo, the team Pramac rider snatched the spot from Iannone in the finale of the FP2 session. The weekend is off to a good start and it also confirms the good balance of the GP18 on the German track.
The Desmosedici has always struggled on the German toboggan course, but in this edition of the GP of Germany, it seems the ‘Reds’ are able to express their potential better. What has changed?
“The bike is good like this. We did not touch a whole lot - Petrucci began - but we always need to take Friday’s results with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, pace is more important that the individual lap.”
It is truly an outstanding start and the base was already at a good level.
“We started well this morning. We used the same setup as last year, trying to adapt it. This year the bike is different, like the tyres. The balance of the bike is rather good - Danilo explained - but we registered too much tyre wear. I think it is a problem for everyone, but as usual, I suffer a bit more in this area. Especially on those parts of the track where you stay on the left side a lot, I suffer decidedly more.”
What is the aspect where you need to work the most?
“I need to worry about the tyre choice for Sunday, although I am satisfied with the day today. I tried the hard this morning and I felt good straight away with this tyre. In the afternoon I switched to the medium and I did rather well, but we need to get the electronics dialled in well to use it. I will definitely try to go through to Q2 and then in FP4 we’ll decide which tyres to use in the race.”
Is a fast flying lap enough to have ambitions of a podium finish?
"Here you can do a very fast single lap, but the thirty in the race are a lot. We are all very close and we’ll have to make the difference in the last ten laps. We are undoubtedly fast, but I need to focus on race pace which is much more important than the flying lap.”
Where do your rivals stand? Do you think there may be some who are holding back?
"Márquez has a pace that is clearly superior to the rest. I think he is the favourite for the win. However, we are not in a bad position. The fact is that with this format of free practice and qualifiers, we are never able to take the tyres to the end of their lives. It wouldn’t be a problem if we had a decidedly faster pace than the others, like Márquez has. The truth is that all the others, with the exception of Márquez, have problems getting into the top 10, so we need to do the time and in the end you only have fifteen minutes per session. FP3 tomorrow will be a qualifying session.”