Danilo Petrucci is getting more and more pleasure in getting on the podium in Superbike and after the third place in Race 1 he gave himself his best result ever, closing the last race of the weekend in Most in the runner-up slot. A second place that Danilo himself would have never expected after this morning's complicated Superpole Race.
“I use corner speed a lot because of my riding style, and this meant that I arrived at the first corner with more load on the front than the others, despite having braked in the same point. I went wide because I was third, I found myself between Toprak and Bassani and I had to let go of the brakes, to go through the middle and not hit anyone. I thought I'd ruined my day, because I found myself back in 14th and even though I recovered some positions I had to start 8th in Race 2”, said Danilo.
There was no shortage of difficulties even at the start of the last race of the weekend in which the Barni team rider found himself thinking of calling it a day.
"Gerloff crashed in front of me at the first corner and I found myself in tenth position, thinking again that my day had ended there - admitted Petrux - Lap after lap, however, I managed to overtake a few, and I saw that the riders ahead were still there. I was very strong under braking and was able to push by myself. I saw that I was catching up with Rinaldi, I had Bassani behind me, and I thought that even if I didn't manage to get on the podium, I would at least want to be the best of the Independents. At that point I saw Toprak crash and I realized that I had to pass Rinaldi to get on the podium”.
A change in the situation that gave the rider from Teni the right motivation to push hard in the last few laps of the race, in which he became the protagonist of a heated duel with Jonathan Rea, which ended under the checkered flag.
“At the beginning of the race I couldn't wait for it to be over, but in the last 10 laps I wished there were more to go - said Danilo - I gave everything in the last three laps and managed to pass Johnny in Turn 1 on the last lap, but he replied immediately after. I wanted to try hard braking in Turn 6, but we would both have crashed, so I thought I'd settle for third place, but then I saw him struggling with traction in the penultimate corner and I gave it a go. We arrived side by side in the last corner and he was a gentleman, because if he had opened the throttle a little more, we would have touched, and I would have ended up wide. He's a great champion and I'll have to offer him at least a couple of beers next time. In any case, 2nd place is my best result”.
Who knows if Petrucci would have been able to fight for the victory, if only he had started a little further up.
“I don't know, because Alvaro is really using the bike well now and still has an advantage in terms of speed, as well as a little more experience with these tyres. Let's say I'm curious to see how it would go if I managed to get off to a good start and stay up front, because I was the fastest on the track in the final stage of the race - commented the Ducati rider - It's a big step forward that we have to take because the first 5 or 6 laps in the middle of the pack is a nightmare for me. It's easy to make mistakes and it's not good to fight for the win."
Danilo is still missing one last step to try and fight for the victory, but the rider from Terni has no doubts about the areas in which to improve to try in the final part of the season.
“I'm very nervous and worried before Superpole and the Superpole Race. I don't know if it's a mental issue because I've always been used to long races and very hard tyres. Here you have to stay in front from the first corner and try to stay there - he explained - We will definitely have to be faster with the soft and used tyres, because I'm quite good at managing the tyres, in fact I'm very fast in the final part, but at the start of the race I’m not and with the SBK format Race 2 is over if you are slow in the Superpole Race. We must get off to a better start."