Danilo Petrucci has repeatedly said that he has to find himself again a bit, and the pre-season tests are the right time to do it. The Terni rider is working on himself more than on the bike, trying to pick up the thread he lost in mid-2019, to return stronger in this new season: a season that, once again, is likely to be crucial.
“I’ve been trying to get the rust off - he says - that is, what I was missing at the end of the season to be quick. Last year at this time I was very fast, and the set-up was very different, another symptom of the fact that I lost my way a bit at the end of the year. I had things to try but I didn't because I had to regain confidence, and at the end of the day I felt more satisfied: in the morning I felt the sensations of the end of 2019 again, but things gradually improved".
Positive feelings that the times don’t show, but Danilo has the answer to this question.
“I didn't go for a fast time because when we decided to do so, it started raining. It doesn't change much anyway, also because we don't have the pace of the top five. Our opponents have made great steps forward and are already fast, but I have to think above all about me".
There are obviously the new solutions brought by Ducati, first of all the new engine and the new frame…
“The new engine is going faster, even if it is never enough. The sensations on the bike are similar to last year, I still have to understand how to take advantage of the new frame, also because today I worked purely on the set-up to regain confidence".
Another novelty is represented by the tyres, which Petrucci analyses in detail.
"The tyres are different and don’t go in the direction I prefer, which is to have a lot of traction at the point of maximum lean angle: my strong point is to quickly get on the gas at centre curve; with these tyres you have less grip at the centre of the curve, but if you lift the bike you have more, then you seem to be able to get on the gas but if you do it the bike gets out of shape."
The differences end here, as confirmed by Petrucci, who ventures a prediction as to who could be favoured by the new tyres.
"There is also a difference in braking, in fact I spent the day working first on the braking and then on the centre of the corner, and the bike needs something different in this sense. You have to understand the bike and its different behaviour, it seems that you have to wait to get on the gas, bringing a lot of speed into the corner. If the tyres suit Yamaha? I've never ridden a Yamaha, but from the times it seems so (laughs). "
Audio recording by Matteo Aglio