PETRUCCI’S ITALIAN JOB
Likeable Italian gives Ducati cause for celebration by beating Rossi to third step of the podium
Danilo Petrucci rode the race of his life at his home round in Mugello to take the second podium of his Motogp career with a stunning performance that saw him hold off close friend Valentino Rossi for third.
Making the most both of his knowledge of the Tuscan circuit and the huge horsepower of his full-factory 2017-spec Desmosedici GP17 machine, the 26-year-old hunted down not only Rossi but both Maverick Viñales and Andrea Dovizioso in his bid for victory before settling for third at the flag.
The Italian is one of the paddock’s most likeable and relaxed characters and revealed that he was blown away by the emotion of what he’d managed to achieve both for the Pramac Ducati team and for himself.
He said: “It’s incredible. If anyone had asked me beforehand what I would have given to get on the podium at Mugello, I would have happily sold my house! It’s quite incredible after a very strange weekend – I crashed on my first lap out of the box on Saturday! Then I did a very good lap time in qualifying, went onto the kerb, and lost my lap time and had to start in ninth.
“I knew I had to stay with the other guys at the front, and when I was fourth I told myself ‘you’re fourth, wait until the last lap and see what happens’ – but then after a moment I thought ‘it’s your home race, go for it!’ I tried with Dovi too, but it wasn’t so easy, and I finished my rear tyre trying to stay with him. But I managed to stay on the podium and it was a great day for me. In 2012, I started my first home GP from last position, and in five years there has been quite a big change!”
Making the day even better was that while Petrucci had shown he could be fast at the home of Ducati in qualifying, he admitted that doing one fast lap and doing 23 of them are different things.
“After Jerez, the boss of Pramac told me ‘OK today you did a good race, but you have to get me a nice present in Mugello.’ I asked him where he expected me to buy it, before I discovered you couldn’t buy a podium and that I’d have to finish in the front three!
‘I would happily have sold my house to get on the podium! DANILO PETRUCCI
“But our factory is 45 minutes from here, our workshop is an hour away and I live two hours away. There was a lot of pressure and I had to manage that all weekend. I am sorry that I beat Valentino, because he’s my friend, but racing is racing! If I could have won the race I would, but Dovi was stronger.”
d 3r 1st: Dovi 41m 32.126s I PETRUCC +2.334s 6th: Marquez +5.885s
Champagne or tears? Either way it was an emotional result Petrucci puts Lorenzo in his place at Mugello