Petrucci: For once, I had an advantage!

'For the first time in the year I can say I have a bit more advantage' - Danilo Petrucci, Valencia MotoGP.
Petrucci: For once, I had an advantage!

Like all of the larger MotoGP riders, Danilo Petrucci's size is often a disadvantage in terms of tyre wear.

But Petrucci had no such concerns in the soaking wet Friday practice conditions at the Valencia finale and - with aquaplaning due to standing water forcing red flags - his extra weight was an advantage in terms of traction.

The Pramac rider was third in the morning session and then fastest of all during an even wetter afternoon outing.

"Yeah for the first time in the year I can say I have a bit more advantage [from my weight]," Petrucci smiled. "I don’t know how it will last, but at the moment I have to take advantage when I can. 90% of the season I have a disadvantage!"

The Italian, who has long been one of the best in the wet, thinks his early career on dirt bikes also helps in such conditions.

"During my career in MotoGP I was always fast in the wet more-or-less and it's a condition that I like," Petrucci said.

"Maybe one of the reasons is my riding style, I rode dirt bikes until 16 so I missed out on a lot of experience from 125 when other riders were young - and for example it's one of my limits in the dry at the last races, to correctly ride and stay [within the limits] with the tyre.

"But in the wet I don’t have this problem so I can ride and push as much as I want and I improved my performance lap by lap. Also I think the wet conditions helped me a bit in acceleration, but then these conditions have always helps me a bit."

Nonetheless, even Petrucci admitted he was unsettled by the aquaplaning.

"The feeling when the rear tyre spins on the main straight at 300 km/h is not so good," he said. "I like these conditions because I'm fast, but for riding in they are not the best.

"I don’t like to race in the rain because everything can happen and you never know when you are going to crash, or when you are on the limit.

"But I'll go to sleep tonight knowing that almost every weather condition will be okay.

"The worst for me is half and half, as the track goes from wet to dry, then it's very difficult for me because my weight is another bigger disadvantage."

With the fastest Friday laps set in FP1, Marc Marquez was on top on the combined times ahead of Pramac riders Jack Miller and Petrucci.

Petrucci - seeking to snatch fifth in the world championship from top Independent rival Johann Zarco, in his final grand prix before joining the official Ducati team - was then fastest by 0.4s from Marquez in the afternoon session, when Valentino Rossi was the only other rider within one-second of the top.

Zarco, currently four points ahead of Petrucci in the standings, was 13th overall.