After the victory at Le Mans and the controversy of the Aragon weekend last week, which saw him finish in 15th position, Danilo Petrucci might just possibly have expected a little more from the second weekend at MotorLand … yet instead, today, everything went wrong. The Ducati rider, who now lives just like his teammate Dovizioso in a house divided, did not go any better than 19th today in qualifying, with only Tito Rabat and Bradley Smith worse than him. What went wrong?
“I had the same problems as last week - said Danilo - I don't have rear grip when entering corners and this makes riding really difficult. I didn't do any better than seven days ago, while my opponents went much faster. This morning I thought I could be a little stronger but I was at the limit. Tomorrow I will start in front of the Safety Car, I gave myself a reverse front row for my birthday, I hoped for better”.
In Q1 today, it seemed that we could observe some of the Ducati strategy that Dovizioso did not see last week. Andrea was towed along by Jack Miller, but the result was the same with Dovi out of Q2.
"I didn’t receive any indications from Ducati for the strategy to follow in qualifying, I don’t know if Miller did".
The only Ducati rider in Q2 was Johann Zarco, who was able to get a good second row start with 5th fastest time. How can this difference in performance be explained? Did Zarco find the perfect lap or is a more in-depth analysis required?
"The problems we are suffering here in Aragon are similar to those that existed in Brno and he was very strong there. The most difficult phase is the one when you release the brakes and pick up the throttle when you are at maximum lean, he is very smooth and fluid at that moment and that is why he manages to go well ”.
Tomorrow the race will certainly be uphill, both for you and for Dovizioso, Bagnaia and Miller. What do you need to do to try and bring home something good? Do you already have ideas on the tyre to use?
“I'm not sure about which rear to choose for the race because the soft didn't work well in FP4. I lapped in the same times as last week's race, the problem is that the others have all improved a lot. Tomorrow in the warm-up we will have to work even if the miraculous changes of the past no longer exist. If you do not have good sensations after 5 days on the same track, it is difficult to find something in 20 minutes, especially in the cold. I'm not sure at the moment, I'll have to see the data about the wear of the soft tyre, I don't have much to lose. I will have to do a very strong first lap but frankly I don't have many ideas, I'm not happy with the behaviour of the soft tyre”.