It was his best day since riding a Superbike, with a third place in qualifying, then a fourth in Race 1. Donington was a Saturday to remember for Danilo Petrucci, to the extent that he’s again best independent after Mandalika.
Danilo is forging ahead, one step at a time, and the results speak for themselves.
“The podium would have been cool, but I was thinking about Barnabò’s face after the fall at Misan,” Petrux said jokingly. “I didn’t want to repeat that mistake, also because I was at the limit. I tried to fill the gap with Rea, but I couldn’t do more than that. I’m still happy, because we did a great job, reaching a fourth place. Physically, I didn’t feel really good, but I bit the bullet in the race, and got an important result.”
The progress was evident.
“We didn’t understood that we had made progress during the Mugello tests, but we realized it in Misano. Now I have more confidence in braking, and I can ride better. However, you have to be very precise and gentle with this Ducati, otherwise, the Panigale moves a lot. The podium wasn’t very far off today. It would’ve been nice to get on it, but we have to continue to work, step by step.”
He was also grateful to Bautista for his help in qualifying.
“There’s no denying that I followed Alvaro to make the time. The thing is, starting up front makes all the difference. In Misano, I managed to do a good qualifying by racing on my own.”
He then talked about the future.
“I still don’t know what I’m going to do in 2024. I’d like to win at least one race, but we’re still far from battling it out with Bautista right now. I think I’ll have to stay here for another year,” he said smiling.
What if you win sooner than expected?
“In that case, as soon as I win, Barni will close the team, sell everything, and we’ll go on vacation forever.”
Lastly, behind the scenes.
“Iannone saw the race and wrote to congratulate me five minutes after the end. He'd like to be with us next year. He deserves it, because he's a talented rider.”