REDDING AND PETRUCCI GO TO WAR
While Rossi and Lorenzo may have drawn headlines in recent weeks for their inter-team rivalry, it was Pramac Racing’s Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci who instead went to war in Sunday’s race.
It was a difficult weekend for both riders, struggling with rear grip and wheelspin issues. But their race was to come to an end much sooner than expected, when a collision between the duo on the second lap saw Redding in the gravel and Petrucci penalised with a ride-through penalty – an error the Italian blamed on a technical failure.
Petrucci said: “On the first lap, I tried to brake hard but my bike didn’t stop because there was no engine braking. When I tried to pass Scott, I went alongside him and we didn’t touch very hard, but he went wide, touched the kerb and crashed. The crash wasn’t my fault, but it was my fault that he went wide. If I hadn’t gone inside him he wouldn’t have gone wide.”
However, his team-mate was quick to lash out afterwards, citing previous reckless behaviour from Petrucci this year that saw Eugene Laverty suffer a similar fate at the Red Bull Ring.
Redding said: “The issue was his f**king brain. I’m disappointed, because being team-mates normally I give a 10% margin, but it wasn’t the first time in the race he’d hit me. On the first lap he’d already had me at turn seven, and I knew he was going to come at me strong. I held out as long as I could, then boom!
“I’m pissed off my own team-mate took me out. You can say that’s racing, but it’s not the first time he’s done it this year. I lost a full race of information that I really needed after Silverstone and Misano. That frustrated me, and the fact that again I ended up riding around at the back trying to find the motivation to continue with a broken bike.”
The level of competition between Redding and Petrucci has reached new heights following a deal that each rider has done with the team. Both have signed up an agreement that will see the best performer over the second half of the season get a Gp17-spec Ducati for next season while the other rider will race a GP16. But despite failing to score any points at Aragon, it seems Redding’s hopes of securing the coveted GP17 ride for next season remain intact.
Speaking to MCN, Pramac Ducati team boss Francesco Guidotti told MCN after the race that there may be repercussions beyond a mere ride-through penalty for Petrucci.
“It was not a good day for our team,” said Guidotti. “It was a mistake by Danilo that involved his team-mate and in this case I think the fairest thing is to count the position of Scott on the first lap when he went out of the track. Scott was ninth so this is eight points and Danilo gets zero. This is my idea and I will make this decision with Ducati.
“If the riders are not able to manage the situation as team-mates then we will make the decision for them. Since the beginning I’ve told them that the points are important but equally their behaviour on the track is also important.”
‘I wasn’t the first time in the race he’d hit me – he’d already had me on the first lap!’ SCOTT REDDING
Redding remounted after his crash to finish in 19th place