Mixed moods plus added doubts and questions, this is what accompanied Danilo Petrucci on the last test day in Sepang. In fact, the Ducati rider was forced to chase, to the point of closing in 6th behind Valentino Rossi's Yamaha.
“We did a great job here in Sepang, even if I'm not entirely satisfied," Petrucci began. "Unfortunately, not everything we tried worked. We managed to figure out several things, starting from the competitiveness on the flying lap. The fact is that there are several faster riders on the race pace, and that's not a good thing. So we'll have to see how to behave in Qatar, trying to be fast and figuring out how to make the most of the tires."
The tires played a key role.
"I took advantage of the soft tire, trying to achieve the highest number of laps in order to gain confidence, but this tire needs to be further assessed."
In a torrid Sepang, Danilo and Dovizioso then tried to help each other out, especially with the race simulation.
“I had the opportunity to work together with Dovi, and we figured out lots of things because riding together in a race perspective allows you to understand different aspects, including style and handling tires. It's certainly useful to share information and understand the feelings regarding the engine. At the end of all this, we realized that we agree."
However, Danilo's face does not seem to express his satisfaction.
“The flying lap didn't go too badly. The fact is that, compared to a year ago, we're no longer the fastest on the track. It's true that the record on the flying lap hasn't been broken yet, but we have to admit that there are faster riders than us."
The Ducati rider realized this.
“Seeing such small gaps is impressive. But, in the end, this is the World Championship, also since the MotoGP is the most difficult category and, consequently, the level and numbers on the field always tend to rise."
“I'm not very worried. Maybe I was at the beginning of these tests, since we really weren't confident with the new tires. Qatar will be another track, where we'll find different conditions. So I think we can get closer to the best. The fact is that there were four Ducatis up front a year ago. Now there are many riders, like Fabio and Maverick, but also Marc and the Espargarò brothers."
Audio recorded by Matteo Aglio