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After a disastrous Saturday at the Sachsenring, Ducati again had to implement damage limitation mode and again were successful in taking the maximum they could from the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland. Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci got the better of teammate Andrea Dovizioso in the closing stages to secure fourth place, all having earlier fought off the stubborn Pramac Racing GP19 of Jack Miller.
However, despite the factory outfit taking away 13 and 11 points from Germany respectively, both Petrucci and Dovizioso were again left frustrated by their inability to fight at the front. Petrucci believes today illustrated “the limit of the bike”, meanwhile Dovizioso, now 58 points in arrears to Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez, admits the Bologna squad “can’t be happy about the speed” they have had over the past three rounds.
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However, following the three-week summer break, the MotoGP™ paddock head to Brno, the scene of a Ducati one-two last year, and then the Red Bull Ring, a circuit at which Ducati are unbeaten.
Today, however, victory or even a podium wasn’t on the table for the Bologna bullets, with Petrucci saying his fourth was the best they could have hoped for: “Fourth place was the maximum we could achieve today. For sure it’s a good result but if you look at the gap from Marquez, it’s very big, more than Assen. We are not very happy.”
“At the beginning of the season, up until Mugello, we fought with Marc. From Barcelona, Assen and here, Marc made another big step. We are still second and third in the Championship, but we need to improve. Both the riding and also the bike, I think we need to work harder at home.”
“For sure Andrea and I, today, have shown the limit of the bike; also, Jack because we arrived all three Ducatis together. So, maybe the maximum from this bike is this. It’s very, very difficult to ride the bike in these conditions. But then we always suffer at this track but at least we managed to score some points, but the Championship leader is very, very far from us.”
“We have something new for that test in Brno. For sure, the Brno race and the Red Bull Ring will be two races where we can show our speed. This year it will be difficult, but I think it will be better than Assen or Sachsenring. We can’t wait for some tracks that are favourites for us. We have to keep working and fight for every race.”
Meanwhile, Dovizioso climbed through from the fifth row of the grid to take home eleven points from the Sachsenring, a result that he, just like his teammate, admits was a successful damage limitation job: “Danilo and I got the maximum we could get, so that’s positive but we can’t be happy about the speed we have.
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“We know Sachsenring is not the best for our bike, but the gap is too big. Also, in the last two races, we couldn’t fight for the podium, this is bad. In the next race, we will be more competitive because of the layout of the track but our competitivity is not good enough at this moment.”
“Honda and Marc are stronger and stronger, and now Suzuki and Yamaha have become better than in the past, so it’s very difficult for us, at this moment, for the goal we have. Let’s see what Ducati can bring in these next 3 weeks.”
“We have to understand what we have to do for the future. We have something I think for the test in Brno to understand and we have to see if we find the way but still, we need a strategy for the future, so it doesn’t change if we have more tests at this moment.”
It’s clear that the Brno test will be crucial for everyone associated with the Ducati Team as they desperately try to cut, what appears at this stage to be, an ever-increasing gap to the Repsol Honda of Marc Marquez at the summit of the MotoGP™ World Championship.
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