by Giorgio Bureddu
His face is throbbing like a boxer's, swollen like a balloon. But Danilo Petrucci also manages to joke about it.
“Between me and the hornet in the end he won. The wasp is better, because at least it doesn't leave the sting ”.
But that of the sting today is a small problem. There are others. His Ducati that doesn’t go, the virus: not necessarily in that order. In the order of Petrucci's ideas the most important is to understand what happened at Aragon.
“We are not as competitive as at Le Mans at the moment. We have to work, looking at the temperatures we knew it would be difficult, especially with the wind. In addition to this, there are very cold temperatures and the feeling of instability increases, especially in the right-hand corners”.
His enthusiasm after Le Mans, and also the hours after, has not vanished, but certainly Petrucci realizes that the race in Spain will be one he’ll have to tackle with a knife between his teeth, and it’s going to be difficult to improvise.
“I knew very well I could be competitive at Le Mans. Here less, and I was not wrong. We are in difficulty, also because the others are starting to lap strong right from the start. We’ll have to work hard, we have to get the most out of what we have ”.
It’s going to take a stroke of genius, something to hold on to. Tomorrow on Saturday Ducati will understand its destiny on the Spanish track better.
“It is certainly a much more complicated weekend than Le Mans. We’ll have to wait for FP4. I have doubts about being able to do something better in FP3 because we are lacking confidence when we go out on the track, you get the feeling very, very late, you never have full confidence with the bike, we have to wait for less wind. I am afraid we will have to get through from Q1, but I hope to regain speed ”.
The point is the tyres. The Aragon temperatures lead to a drop in confidence between the tyre and the asphalt, the tyres never heat up or too little. Petrucci puts it bluntly.
“The wind is variable in a very large percentage. Le Mans is a very different track: you enter the curves with your brake in your hand, right-left, right-left, it's a stop-and-go track and you manage to put the load on the front and heat the tyre. At Aragon you brake a lot to the left, however, and in two corners you don't even brake. The bike is very light”. He continues: "It is also a bit the layout of the track. Here it was quite critical for the tyres for us, there is not much grip, at the moment we are struggling a lot. Let’s wait for FP4 ".
If nothing else, admitted Petrux: "From the point of view of the show it is very nice: there have been seven different winners, there is a lot of instability in the standings". But this is true for those who are enjoying the world championship, “much less for those of us who are racing”.
Tyres are making a difference, so maybe we should ask Michelin something…
“I don't know if there are plans to change the tyre. They made a compromise with us by bringing an extra tyre for the front. But the problem is that we are racing in a period of the year when it is really cold in Europe. If you ask the Yamaha riders this question, I don't think they agree. We need to see the values on the track ”.
And we must also take into consideration the situation of Covid. What will happen now? The case of Valentino Rossi, that of Tony Arbolino. Petrucci has clear ideas, he knows that the virus can affect everything. Even the world championship.
“In Moto2 Martin has lost a lot of points, Arbolino idem: it's a very heavy zero. It is an uncontrollable situation. Anything can happen. Maximum attention, but it is difficult to have full control of the situation. I hope that is enough for us riders. And I hope Rossi and Arbolino are doing well”.