Has Petrucci found a breakthrough with softer tyres? “I did the lap time with the new front… it was so good!”

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) was one of the stand-out names on Day 2 of the Supported Test as he finished in third place, after running in top spot during the afternoon before being demoted by Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team). However, his day wasn’t simple at all, with two technical issues and a crash hampering his progress but he was still able to show impressive speed to be towards the front at a track he hasn’t enjoyed strong results at in the past.

He initially went into the top four using a combination of the standard SCX tyre and the new front SC1, but then went even faster on the SCQ later to set a 1’40.801s and claim first place provisionally, although he was moved into second place by Bulega’s lap-record breaking pace and then a place further by Razgatlioglu. Despite the red-hot lap times, Petrucci had two technical issues and a crash which cost him valuable running time at a circuit where he took 12th in Race 2 here last year, and a best in MotoGP™ of third in 2019, although he was generally in the lower end of the top ten throughout his career here.

Discussing his issues and crash, he said: “The first part was not busy, because I pushed the bike out of the gravel a couple of times. We had a problem with this morning, a bit of rain and we waited a bit, and then we had this issue with the number one bike. We had to start the day quite late but then we’ve been able to recover so well. I was worried about my lap time with the SCX and the SCQ. I could’ve been better but, on the second attempt, I crashed at Turn 10. On the second try, I put on another tyre because I wanted to do a Superpole Race simulation with the qualifying tyre, and I was improving my lap time, but I crashed at Turn 10.”

Despite the issues plaguing him on Friday, he’ll be in a confident mood heading into the Catalunya Round as he looks to add to his podium tally. Although he was unable to complete a race simulation on Day 2 due to the lost time, ‘Petrux’ explained how he felt like the team were in a good way heading back into next week’s round.

He added: “Because we didn’t have so much time, we wanted to try a race simulation, but we were unable. I think we’re in good shape. The tyre wear here is the main thing so you can be fast, but you need to be faster at the end of the race as your pace can drop one or two seconds. I’m satisfied. I’m happy because I’m trying to understand the tyre. It’s really good to go with a lot of speed inside the corner and Bulega is really good at it. I need to try to smoother on the throttle and carry more speed in the corner. I did the lap time with the new front tyre, and I like it. I was a little bit overriding the bike and I was really trusting the front tyre too much, because it was so good!”

Can Petrucci fight for a podium during the Catalunya Round? Find out using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

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