Petrucci: New Ducati has no negative points

Danilo Petrucci makes his debut in official Ducati colours, says early version of GP19 “has no negative points.”
Petrucci: New Ducati has no negative points

Aside from jokingly noting the increased attendance at his media debrief, Danilo Petrucci stated the early version of Ducati’s GP19 has “no negative points” after his first day in official colours resulted in the eighth fastest time.

Unlike new team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, Petrucci had the chance to sample Ducati’s new prototype, and after spending the early parts of the day on his GP18, he feels he will continue to work on the evolution bike from here.

The Italian feels the new machine is an upgrade when it comes to “stability out of the corner,” a trait of his riding style that carried a heavy penalty throughout 2018.



“[It was] Busy, busy,” began Petrucci. “A lot of journalists [are here]! But I enjoy. This morning I was a little bit with more tension. Not stressed, just fighting with myself. It’s just the first day, but the first day with the real bike.

“I’m happy to have begun this year. Today was very, very short. We had half of the run with my old bike, then half with the new bike. Just the positive thing is the new bike is not so different from the old.

“But we got no negative points. But we had just two runs to work on the bike and it was very, very short. I felt very good in the last run. When I rode in 32.1s with 25 laps on the tyre, and I had the same lap time as the new one. This is good.

“Regarding set-up we haven’t touched anything. This was one of problems in the last races. I always try to change something different. today we just focussed on riding as much as possible to understand the differences between the two bikes. So we understood this bike is better so we’ll continue with this in the test.

“[It is better] Especially on stability out of the corner. It’s a point where I struggle a lot. My riding style and my weight, doesn’t help me to have a very flowing exit of the corner. I was always bumping and moving. It stresses a lot the rear tyre.

“This in maybe three or four laps is not a problem, but in a 25-30 lap race this is a problem for the tyre. This was one of the problems this year.”

On the added engineers at his disposal as a factory rider, he explained, “They help you run per run to understand the difference between the run before and what you say.

“They immediately have more time to check and say, ‘OK, this is true, this isn’t. This is a good help because sometimes the condition of the track, the bike, the tyres change and you feel you are struggling.

“But sometimes you are slower, you are doing the good things and you don’t see the time coming. So you say, ‘this is not good.’ With many engineers they can say which solution is better and this is a very, very big help.”

The day brought with it many emotions, mainly as Petrucci began his life in the factory Ducati team. As he pointed out, he has come a long way from his days as a test rider aboard Superstock machines.

“It was quite good because I joined MotoGP with the last bike [on the grid] and year by year I improved and arrived to the best bike, maybe, or one of the three best bikes of the category. This is a pride for me.

“Especially at Ducati, because I start as a test rider in Superstock production bikes. Step by step I arrived at the maximum point a rider can arrive to. This is a surprise. Then I have to finish first because I finished many times last when I was on the worst bike. Now I have the best one and I need to have the best results.

“I think when you join a factory team you have no excuses. You have to perform and we are here for this.”