Petrucci says mar­shals cost him

Rapid Ital­ian hits out at mar­shals after be­ing tripped up by lapped rid­ers on cru­cial fi­nal lap

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MO­TOGP RE­PORTER IN ASSEN si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­

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.”

Petrucci is the new golden boy at Du­cati

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