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Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) is the third man on the grid on a GP17 this year – the same evolution of the bike as the Ducati factory team – and the Italian sat down with motogp.com ahead of Mugello to talk about the race, his progress and the development of the Ducati. First, how is it looking down the barrel of the first home race of the year?
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Petrucci: "My Ducati is a laboratory bike"
Danilo Petrucci: “Mugello is one of the best places in the world for a rider. It’s a magic place. I will get a lot of pressure. Everyone is expecting something big from me, and I like this, because it means that people believe in me.”
That belief has often paid off, and the Italian is satisfied in race trim – as well as focusing on development as the Borgo Panigale factory continue their push forwards:
“I’m satisfied about my progress because in the race I’m quite consistent. Our work is to continue the development of the 2017 bike. It’s like a laboratory where Ducati can work with my bike without disturbing the two factory guys. The bike has grown up but the difference compared to last year is not so much. We still have on track a bike that is two years old, that GP15 of Abraham or Baz, and they are often faster on the straight compared to Yamaha or Honda. So this means we have a two-year advantage with the engine.”
That advantage is something they intend to keep – as they continue working on other areas of the bike to get back to the pinnacle of MotoGP™:
“We are talking with Gigi Dall’Igna to build something different on the chassis or on the swing arm or something like this, because we have very, very good engine and very good electronics. We can fix a lot of problems with the electronics but sometimes the structure of the bike needs to change - and we are pushing to have something different.”
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