The Ducati Team resumed action today near Chemnitz (Germany) at the Sachsenring circuit, home of the ninth race of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship and last round before the summer break. At the end of Friday’s free practice sessions, held in partially sunny weather – with temperatures around 25 degrees in the atmosphere and 40 on the tarmac – Danilo Petrucci sits in eighth position in the combined standings just ahead of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, only five thousandths of a second slower.
Both Petrucci and Dovizioso worked on race pace ahead of Sunday focusing on tyre wear, a variable that at Sachsenring – which features 10 left-hand corners out of 13 in total and a race distance of 30 laps – often turned out to be decisive towards the final results. Fifteenth in the morning, Petrucci improved his lap times by more than a second during FP2 to clock a 1:21.484. Dovizioso also showed progress by taking approximately nine tenths of a second off his best lap time to post a 1:21.489 with a hard rear tyre.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:21.484 (8th)
“Today has been a bit more complicated than what we expected because, despite knowing that Sachsenring is not the most ideal track for the characteristics of our bike, we’ve always been quite competitive here in the past. However, we struggled a bit in the first two sessions. Not only we need to improve our speed on a single lap, but first and foremost our consistency in terms of pace. We also need to be more efficient in managing the rear tyre, because when we try to save it we’re not quick enough and the race is really long here. We have our work cut out for us to find a better balance and now we’ll analyze the data into detail. I believe our potential is higher than what we’ve shown so far.”
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:21.489 (9th)
“We’ve been able to progressively improve our performance but, at the moment, we still haven’t reached the competitiveness we’re aiming for. In particular, we’re struggling a bit with corner speed but I’m not too worried because it’s only Friday and we still have plenty of time to work on the bike. I wasn’t able to ride a ‘clean’ lap towards the end, also because I’m still suffering a bit due to a small issue with my back, and I preferred not to push too hard in the final laps and instead pace myself ahead of the rest of the weekend. For sure we’ll be quicker tomorrow morning, but so will be our rivals. We just need to stay focused and keep working, on consistency even more so than pure speed, because the race distance is 30 laps here.”
The Ducati Team will be back in action tomorrow, July 6th, at 09:55 (CET) for a third free-practice session while qualifying is scheduled to start after FP4 at 14:10 local time.