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Petrucci: “I had to use Jorge as a target!”

Alma Pramac Racing rider denied his first pole by almost nothing – but he starts P2 after a clever qualifying

After going second fastest on Friday, Danilo Petrucci did it again for Alma Pramac Racing on Saturday and the Italian will be lining up in the middle of the front row for the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland after just missing out on his first ever premier class pole position. He did his best lap behind Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) - something he was quick to point out in parc ferme - but it was a stunner and it sets him up well for race day.

Petrucci: "I've been second all weekend!"

“It’s been a good weekend and since yesterday I’ve finished all sessions in second,” smiles the Italian. “I was having a little bit more difficulty in qualifying but in FP4 we were good. I had to be clever and use Jorge as a target on that lap, which helped me a lot. But I think the starting position will be important tomorrow.”

But despite joking that he’ll miss having the watch awarded for pole position, there are concerns for the number 9, as rear tyre life - something of a consistent worry for Petrucci - plays on his mind when thinking about race pace to the latter laps.

German GP MotoGP™ qualifying in slow motion

“Our target was the first two rows because the race will be difficult and the tyre consumption will be very high,” affirms the Italian. “For me it’s a bit harder because of my weight, but I got the target for today. We are working a lot on electronics to make the bike smooth because here we have only two or three hard braking areas and not so much acceleration so you have to be very flowing on the track. My fear is that I don’t know what to expect in the second half, we’ve been good with used tyres but we don’t know about the others and I think a lot of riders don’t know. We’ll see, it would be good to stay calm in the first laps and starting from the front row is helpful.”

A good start can certainly cut out a lot of drama at times. Can he make it three from three and get another top result on the final day of action in Germany? The lights go out at 14:00 (GMT +2) on Sunday.