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Sporting a new-look fairing on the front of his Alma Pramac Racing Ducati, Danilo Petrucci ended the opening day at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky second overall, 0.123 behind Dani Pedrosa’s (Repsol Honda Team) best time.
FP2 saw the appearance of the fairing after Petrucci struggled in the morning session. “It was good to try a very very new part today. This morning the situation wasn’t so good but, maybe, we put the soft front tyre on and it was too soft and this gave us some problems,” examined the Italian, who improved in the afternoon with the brand-new Ducati fairing.
“But, in the afternoon, we made some adjustments and it was okay, especially the race pace. With the hard tyre, we feel good. The new fairing is not a difference between day and night, but it’s got some positive points and no negative points, so this is good for us.”
“No negative points” is a sure sign that we could be seeing the same fairing placed on the factory Ducatis at some point in the near future, but what about Petrucci’s tyre consumption struggles as track temperatures soared past 50 degrees Celsius in the afternoon? “We are struggling, as always in the last races, with tyre consumption and this makes it a different bike from the first and last laps,” explained the number 9 rider.
“We are struggling, as always in the previous races, with tyre consumption and this makes it a different bike from the first and last laps,” continued Petrucci. “In the first lap, everything is perfect but by lap 10 you say “this is not my bike”. It’s a problem for everyone. I’m happy about today, tomorrow we have to follow this way.”
So, it seems ‘Petrux’ is positive about his day at the office in Brno and says he’s aiming to grab his second podium of the season on Sunday, but he’s well aware that some of the top riders have something in hand. “I will be happy to be on the podium and close this gap (Ducati’s podium drought at Brno) since 2010. It would be good. It will be difficult,” admitted Petrucci.
“But on Friday, like always, some riders are hiding back. Dovi, for example, started with a used tyre this morning and put a hard rear tyre on in the end, so he’s very fast. Marquez didn’t try a new tyre, so they are riders that are hidden and, tomorrow, they’ll appear. I would be grateful to finish on the podium.”
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