Petrucci says marshals cost him
Rapid Italian hits out at marshals after being tripped up by lapped riders on crucial final lap
He may be the new kid on the Motogp block, but Pramac Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci left the eighth round of the 2017 Motogp championship at Assen lamenting what could have been after being beaten in the run to the line by just 0.063 by Valentino Rossi.
The 26-year-old Italian had once again stunned his more experienced full factory rivals by finishing second, a result that backs up his breakthrough Mugello podium three weeks ago.
Able to make a break with race-winner Valentino Rossi and put pressure on his friend and fellow Italian right until the chequered flag, Petrucci hit out at the Dutch marshals for the lack of flags shown to backmarkers on the decisive final lap.
Catching and lapping Hector Barbera, Alex Rins and Jorge Lorenzo on his last gasp dash to the flag (after all three had pitted to switch to wet weather bikes), Petrucci lost the chance to take his first-ever Grand Prix win.
“I prepared everything for the last sector, because I knew I was quite a lot faster than Valentino there, and everything was ready. Then, in the penultimate chicane we met Barbera – Valentino was able to go in fast but I had to wait a little longer. I don’t know what Rins was doing when we found him, but I lost even more to Valentino, yet still arrived almost at the same time as him at the flag. I could have won the
‘I don’t know what Rins was doing, but I lost even more to Valentino’ DANILO PETRUCCI
race but in the end it wasn’t to be.
“I have to be happy with a podium despite the difficult conditions, because it would have been very easy to crash. But I felt the victory was very close to me. They are always busting our balls in the safety commission with rule after rule after rule, but when there was an important time for a blue flag, there was nothing.”
Despite his disappointment with the result, Petrucci has a lot to be happy about, riding an impressive race and repaying Ducati for their faith in taking a chance on him and giving him the opportunity to become the only satellite rider on 2017-specification Ducati machinery this season.
And with two podiums in three races leaving him in a strong place in the battle to be top satellite machine, Petrucci could well be in hot demand as the silly season kicks off in earnest. Confirming that he has offers on the table both from Ducati and from Aprilia as they continue to try and replace Sam Lowes, the Italian revealed that he’s in no rush to commit just yet.
He said: “We’re very close in the championship - I’m always at the front now, and I’d quite like to stay there in the future! There’s been a lot of words about my future because of this too, but I’ve asked everyone to wait until after the next race. I’m building a good championship, and we’ll discuss the options in the summer break when I’m more relaxed.”