Petrucci ‘quite scared, felt a lot of pain’

Danilo Petrucci feared he had reinjured his right hand and left wrist in a scary fall in Q2; “when I push on the [left] hand I feel a lot of pain.”
Petrucci ‘quite scared, felt a lot of pain’

Danilo Petrucci faces his biggest challenge of 2019 on Sunday as he aims to navigate a way toward the top six from twelfth on the grid while battling “a lot of pain” in his right hand and left wrist.

The Italian admitted he was “quite scared” immediately after a terrifying fall at turn seven in Q2, which had him fearing there was serious damage to the hand he broke testing at Phillip Island in 2016 and the wrist he fractured badly at Jerez in 2014.

A post-crash check-up confirmed he hadn’t broken either body part, although he suspects the ligament in his thumb has been damaged. Furthermore Petrucci is experiencing “a lot of pain” when he puts pressure on the right hand.

“For sure I was quite scared in the first moment,” he said, “because I felt a lot of pain in the right hand and the left wrist, where I was injured in 2016 and 2014. I thought it was broken because immediately the hand was really black.

“But then they say that nothing was broken but maybe the ligament of the thumb is broken. I have a lot of pain there. fortunately I haven’t broken any metacarpal. Then in my left wrist I have a pain inside. I have to do a scan because when I push on the hand I feel a lot of pain.

“I was doing a good lap. Unfortunately it was a nasty corner to crash. I crashed at 200kph (124mph) again. This time the gravel, I started to jump and roll. I was complaining about this all weekend, the stability of the bike. I lost it in the worst point.

“Anyway, nothing is done. We start in the middle of the grid. It won’t be easy because we are not fast but at least I’m not injured.”

The 28-year old’s qualifying session was also notable for an altercation with class rookie Joan Mir that left the Ducati rider gesticulating angrily in the Majorcan’s direction.

Explaining the situation, Petrucci said, “To not give him a tow I was just far – 1.5 seconds – during the first attempt. Then he slowed down in the corner I crashed later. He saw me but remained in the middle of the track at turn eleven.

“I gave him space again and pushed for the second attempt of the first new rear tyre. I was again 1.5 seconds distance. I didn’t want to lose a lot of time to cool the tyre down.

“Then he slowed down, turned the head, saw me and remained in the middle of the track. I don’t know why. I lost any chance to do a good lap. Maybe I have to leave him more space but I thought 1.5 seconds was enough.

“But there were two times that he turned the head and saw me and braked. For this reason I was quite angry. You can see from the TV that he saw me and turned his head.”

Mir responded by saying, "This is something strange because I was waiting in the pit lane to not disturb anyone and be completely alone during my two laps. And Petrucci started in front of me, probably seven or eight seconds in front of me.

"Then he was waiting all the track to take my wheel. And then I make my tool laps. I helped him probably. And then when I finished my two laps, I [was going] into the pit lane, I was completely into the kerb, looking behind if there was someone too not disturb anyone and he was doing everything [gestures].

"But the thing is if Petrucci was pushing from the beginning and not waiting for my wheel, for sure I would not have disturbed him in this case. So I think there's no reason to be penalised. If someone asks for my explanation or my point of view, I think it would be unfair if I'm penalised for this action.

"Because I didn't do anything wrong."

Petrucci was a distant 19th in FP4 in what was largely a desperate day for Ducati. The situation for Sunday’s race, however, is not as bleak as the afternoon session suggested.

"We started FP4 with 17 laps on the tyre – very, very used. But I think it’s the real condition of tomorrow. We are struggling for sure. We are not so good when the grip starts to go down. It’s always the same story. We need a lot of load on the rear.

“When the grip goes down for me it’s very difficult. We saw many good lap times but at the end I don’t think we are so bad in the second part of the race. For sure we are not competing for the podium this time.”