Danilo Petrucci scored a seventh-place finish in Austria which does not leave him particularly satisfied. The other two Ducati GP20s on track with the regular riders both got onto the podium, while Danilo continues to go through a difficult period. This is especially linked to the new Michelins, which don’t allow him to take advantage of the style that in 2019 often made him a tricky customer to pass in the race. Danilo has lost one of the strengths of his riding but is trying to rebuild a style that allows him to exploit the potential of his Ducati. This seventh place could be considered a starting point.
Petrucci experienced the triumph of his teammate Dovizioso in a particular way. Both riders are not part of Ducati's future, but while Danilo has a contract with KTM for 2021, Dovizioso is currently virtually without a ride. Today's victory has relaunched him in the world championship standings, so it is reasonable to think that Andrea could win the title and then find himself really without a ride at the end of the year. Petrucci, however, sees things differently.
"He could replace me in KTM! - he joked - I know there are no opportunities to see Andrea racing next year and this is something I feel bad about. He did the right thing to make his decision, because now he can clear his mind and fight for the world championship. If he were to win it, I don't think he would be left without a ride. There is still a season to do, but Andrea responded in his own way, winning as he did last year when I started to go faster than him. His head is his forte, today he put together a masterpiece of a race here ".
You took some small steps forward today, but you continue to suffer with the new Michelin…
"I have changed my riding style slightly, but it's still not enough. As I have said many times, I have always been one of the riders who used more rear tyre in braking and we do not know why it is impossible to use this style this year. So I'm constantly changing the engine brake settings to stem this problem. It's a problem, because for my extra weight this is a big limit, especially when I push hard in braking. I'm absolutely not happy with this situation and this result. Maybe we got close, but not close enough. The potential of the bike is higher, but not being able to use the rear when braking is a huge problem for me. "
Did you see the accident between Zarco and Morbidelli? What’s your idea about it?
"I was just three positions behind Zarco when the accident happened. We all went wide. That point is dangerous, we reach over 320 km/h and we brake with the bike very leaning to the left as the curve goes to the right. We were very worried about what could have happened in the wet, we talked about it in the safety commission. But we have to change something, because with today's bikes that are very powerful, when you approach the corner and are leaning over at about 45 or 50 degrees and take the brake in hand, the bike moves, there are many trajectories and it is normal that some contact may occur. In my opinion the only solution would be to make the track straighter at that point and make the braking with the bike straight ".
Do you think it was Zarco’s fault?
"Honestly, I don't know if it was Johann's fault, or if he did something wrong. I certainly don't think he tried to do Moto3-style manoeuvres, things that are maybe done in the last laps. The problem is that at that point we are really leaning over and you can't brake a lot, so there are riders who risk more by braking a lot at the beginning, while others wait to straighten the bike before braking hard. I didn't see everything perfectly; I only saw when the bikes were already rolling in the gravel. I am not sure if it is really anyone's fault, in my opinion it is simply a dangerous point that we have already complained a lot about. I do not know if something can be done immediately, but today it went really well. Zarco's bike was launched at 320, all he needed was to be two meters further away not to hit the air fence and if he had hit Vinales I don't know how it would have ended. It was very bad, but all ended well. If there is a God, today he was looking down. It was a question of centimetres for both Zarco's bike and Morbidelli's bike. Vinales and Rossi risked big, what happened makes you reflect on whether it is worth it or not, and we forget it every now and then. But I don't know if Zarco did something wrong or not ".
The Red Bull Ring is dangerous in some places, but at the end of the year you will be racing in Portimao, another really complicated track for MotoGP. Will you have an opportunity to lap there before the Grand Prix?
"There will be a test for the test riders at Portimao and we factory riders will be able to ride the road bikes. Then on the Thursday before the Grand Prix there will be a day of testing for everyone. But I don't think that if we find a dangerous spot on the Thursday, then on Sunday we won't do the race. I don't think that will be the case. I raced with the Stock 1000 in Portimao, and I also won. I know they are going to resurface it, it’s full of bumps and already this year some Superbikes were flying with both wheels off the ground in some places. Not the best, let's put it that way. At least Portimao doesn't have too dangerous spots with close walls. I don't know what happened to Cortese, who if I'm not mistaken hit a wall. It's like an asphalted motocross track like Brands Hatch or Laguna Seca and riding a MotoGP on such a track is unfortunately never fun. The power we have is already so high that we struggle not to always wheelie, if we then race on tracks that also have ramps ... I hope they do a good job with the new asphalt making things a little softer ".