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7 days ago
By motogp.com

Qualifying crash hampers Petrucci’s Austrian GP

Italian suffered his worst result of the season, but what went wrong for the Ducati rider?

Danilo Petrucci’s (Ducati Team) weekend at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich didn’t quite go to plan as the Italian suffered his worst result of the season.

Ahead of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, Petrucci was “very happy” as he was quick on a track that, normally, he doesn’t go well at. The number 9 rider was P4 and P7 in the two sessions ahead of Q2 but a crash on Saturday afternoon meant Petrucci had to settle for P12 on the grid.

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“Yeah a really bad mistake because in FP3 I was really fast, in FP4 too, I was very happy because usually at this track I struggle,” said ‘Petrux’, talking about  the crash at Turn 4. “I was really happy but maybe at that corner, it was better to not go in with too much speed and too much confidence. I crashed, stayed in the middle of the pack and I remained in the middle of two accidents at the first corner on the second lap, and then my race was really unhappy.

“I tried to recover some positions but I wasn’t really fast on braking, on acceleration too. A bad weekend again but everything started going bad with my mistake so I have to stay calm, relax a bit and focus on the next race.”

Petrucci would eventually take the chequered flag in ninth, behind fellow Ducati rider Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) – the two rookies securing their best MotoGP™ results. However, it was the opposite for Petrucci, who tallied his worst finish of the season. Looking at the positives, Petrucci is yet to crash on a Sunday afternoon in 2019 and is also yet to finish outside the top 10. Moreover, the Ducati man continues to occupy third place in the Championship standings heading to Round 12. Silverstone is just under two weeks’ away and it offers Petrucci a chance to turn his Czech GP and Austrian GP disappointments around. So how is the 28-year-old feeling ahead of the British GP?

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“We don’t know because there is a new asphalt. But it’s (the same) for everyone and we want to fight for the top five as always. This race, as I told you, was my target but I did a bad mistake. For sure Silverstone is another chance, a good opportunity to stay in front and stay in the position I want to.”

Petrucci claimed a brilliant maiden podium at the British venue in 2015. Can he mount a podium attack and stand on the rostrum for the first time since the Catalan GP? Who knows, but Petrucci and Ducati head to the United Kingdom riding the crest of a wave after teammate Andrea Dovizioso picked up a sensational win in Austria.

“I’m very happy for Andrea. He deserved that win, he needed that win. Now, with the feeling we have in the team, we can go to Silverstone happier. We’ll see, but for sure I’m really happy for Ducati and Andrea.”

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