MotoGP, Danilo Petrucci: “Finally, in KTM I feel important”

Danilo Petrucci closes the second day of the MotoGP test with a crash, but also lots of useful information. There is also room for a confrontation with Dani Pedrosa

Danilo Petrucci closes the second day on testing in the 21st position. One second and eight from the top, but that’s not what matters. The rider from Terni is the second-best KTM. Only Miguel Oliveira has done better than him, but above all, he has collected a lot of useful information in his apprenticeship of the new bike. On day 2 he also tasted the asphalt with a fall, fortunately without consequences.

“Maybe I slowed down too much after a lap. Turn 2 is always complicated,” admits Danilo. “Fortunately there were no consequences and the bike was not affected too much. We have a lot of work to do, but we have to calculate that we have even just one day of experience ”. One of the main themes is his stature: “I am the only rider in KTM with this size, adapting it to me will require a lot of work. This is not an excuse, it is a fact. I’ve always had different setups because of my height ”.

Compared to the first day, however, Petrucci can smile. “The time is better than on day 1 and only Miguel is ahead of me in the KTMs. The road to the top is long, but we are in the right direction. I have to know the bike and the team has to know me. I need a better balance, when I want to go faster I try to brake more decisively but the bike doesn’t want to stay in line and the same happens if I try to disconnect a little earlier. “.

“At KTM they follow me a lot, especially in my work”

“Miguel is quite fast with this bike,” he continues. “We are competing with riders who have been riding the same bikes for years, we have to stay positive.” As happened on the first day, Petrucci talks about the engine. “I like it, when you are at the maximum lean angle it releases the power in a gentle way. I think it will be a nice advantage on tracks where there will be a lack of traction. I think our engine can be good in Qatar, but above all on the tracks where the situation will be more difficult ”.

Danilo then continues to emphasize the good atmosphere around him. “I’m important, it’s beautiful. They follow me a lot, especially at work. I can discuss what I need. I am not a chief mechanic, but I understand how a motorcycle works and I can tell if in my opinion it should be raised, lowered, shortened, and so on ”. A stimulating environment for him. “I work with several Italians and then there is Coulon who is a historical figure. I really enjoy working with him, he knows the geometry of a motorcycle and he likes to work on the mechanics. I finally feel like I count for something in the team ”.

“Pedrosa? Light as a butterfly, he stings like a bee “

There was also room for a confrontation with Dani Pedrosa. “We said the same things, we are trying to figure out which way to go. I had to start from scratch, find the position of the handlebars, the levers, understand how everything works. The only rider who has recently changed like me is Pol Espargaro and he went fast, but he is even smaller. ” Petrucci then continues to talk about Pedrosa. “I have great esteem for him, when the conditions were difficult, like in Jerez or Sepang with the heat and little grip, he was unbeatable. As Ali said: it is as light as a butterfly and stings like a bee “.

Then, Petrucci finds adjectives for this KTM. “Tough, versatile, a bike with character. Good under braking, but we will see better the goodness of this KTM on tracks with difficult conditions. You have great stability on the front “. However, there is work to be done on the brakes. “I need a balance to brake hard and be able to release the brakes, I still can’t. As mentioned, the bike must be adapted to my size: we have done it in the past, we are doing it now ”.

Unfortunately, there has not yet been a way to deal with the same brands. “I hope to find Oliveira on the track, there are points where we are similar, in others I am faster in corner entry at the expense of speed out. I have to understand how to use the bike and I haven’t seen the other KTMs yet unfortunately ”.

Now two days of rest, before another three days of testing and then Petrucci will fly home. “My plan at the moment is to return to Italy. I clearly hope that the situation does not get worse from a health point of view. There are still a lot of people who will stay in Qatar. I want to go home to settle down physically, reset and then come back ”.


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