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SBK, Petrucci: “The comparison with Bautista is demeaning, I’m unfortunately extra large”

“I managed to progress, and I'm not as bad as it seems. I’ll have a lower bike and a new tank in Europe. I’m experiencing a mix of sensations. I have more fans today than when I was in the MotoGP.”

SBK: Petrucci: “The comparison with Bautista is demeaning, I’m unfortunately extra large”

Danilo Petrucci is ready. With Race 1 tomorrow, he’ll be starting his World Superbike experience. For the Barni team rider, it certainly hasn’t been an easy winter, but he was never discouraged and continued to work hard with the intention of improving.

At the end of the first day of official tests, Petrux is 9th overall, at nine-tenths from the benchmark set by Bautista.

It was a positive Friday,” he said. “I managed to reach my time on my own, and this is important for me. These Pirelli have great potential on the first lap. But, from the second lap on, they lose a few tenths. In the afternoon, I then made a change to the riding position, and this gave me more confidence in fast corners. Compared to yesterday, the bike is more stable, and the pace wasn’t bad, despite the penalizing classification.”

Danilo, where do you think you stand?
I’m starting to understand the bike, and the technicians are starting to understand me. Unfortunately, the comparison with Bautista is demeaning, given that he’s good at taking advantage of all the characteristics of the Panigale and also weighs 30 kilos less than me. The fact is that I’m extra large, and it’s an additional challenge to facefor the technicians.”

How’s the night before exams?
It’s a mix of sensations. I’m curious, anxious to race, but also worried because I don’t know what to expect. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to handle the tire well, so I can’t get nervous if I end up behind and overtaken. Inside of me, I know that I can do well, but I don’t have a goal in mind. I want to remain in the top ten, even if it’s not going to be easy.

After Mandalika you’ll then go to Borgo Panigale.
Correct! I’m going to have to go to Borgo Panigale to change the bike. For Europe, I should also have a lower tank, with the aim of being more comfortable on the bike. When I was racing in MotoAmerica, I used the old Ducati, and it matched my size more. Now I need a change.

How long have you been waiting for Race 1?
A long time! I’m thirty-two years old, but I still consider myself an outsider. It’ll be important to break the ice tomorrow and figure everything out. But I’m happy to start from Phillip Island, since I feel at home here. I feel an incredible warmth. I have more fans now than when I was racing in the MotoGP.



Translated by Leila Myftija

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