In Brno, Danilo Petrucci declared that it had been his worst race of the season, before going to Austria, where the result was even more disappointing. "I learned that you must never say it was your worst race," the Ducati rider from Terni said jokingly. The last week of summer break helped him put his ideas in order because it was like seeing a different rider racing the Desmosedici n.9.
As he has been used to doing for years, Danilo resorted to seeing a sports psychologist and understood what was not working.
"I know that when one says 'psychologist', others always think you're crazy, you have problems. I have to admit that, years ago, I would have dreamt of having a 3rd place in the championship as a problem,” Petrucci said ironically.
But there was indeed something to fix, and now it's clear to him.
"I found myself in a difficult situation because I started thinking too much, and not about not making mistakes and the championship," he explained. "From Jerez to the Sachsenring, I didn't think about anything. I just thought about riding my bike. In these last two races, however, I changed my approach and took a wrong path. But now I'm happy because I understood what blocked me."
The work he did with his psychologist was fundamental.
"We talked, and I started thinking differently," Danilo continued. "I realized that I had spent too much thinking about the championship. In a sense, I was surprised to find myself in 3rd place, and I put pressure on myself. Even last year, when I was struggling to be the best unofficial team rider, the same thing happened to me. Now I have more experience, and I hope to manage the situation better."
That's why he decided to work on his mind and not just on his body.
"What's strange? You train one like the other," he said. "The psychologist is a person to talk to for me, a kind of friend, and certainly a big help. It's been since 2016 that I started this journey because, to get here, I took a road that was a bit different than all the others. I had to jump the gun, and I was never satisfied myself."
The latter seems like a quality, but it can also be a defect.
"It can become a problem because you put pressure on yourself," explained Petrucci. "I understand that I have to work more methodically, leave instinct aside, reason, and not lose my temper. Sometimes you simply have to ride the bike to get the best out of it, not revolutionize it and lose your way from a technical point-of-view. In the last few races, I was tense on the bike because I was thinking of the points I could have lost or gained, of the mistakes I could have made. In the end, when you want something at all costs, then you end up not getting it."
At Silverstone, Danilo will have to prove that he has learned his lesson.
"I'll leave without expectations. I'll ride the Ducati and see what will happen, like I did in the first part of the year ," he promised "There are no circuits where you're favored or not. The details make the difference. Think of Dovizioso in Austria. He won at the last corner with a super overtake. That's enough to understand that there are no tracks where the winner is taken for granted. In theory, the new asphalt here at Silverstone could help us, like the not too high temperatures. I'll only be thinking about riding."