The Mission Winnow Ducati team resumed action today at Mugello Circuit for the Italian Gran Prix qualifiers. In sunny conditions, with 26 degrees in the atmosphere and almost 50 on the tarmac, Danilo Petrucci seized first row for the second time after Le Mans posting the third-fastest time in Q2 with a 1:45.881, while Andrea Dovizioso will start from third row in ninth position with a personal best of 1:46.293.
After gaining direct access to Q2 posting the fastest time in FP3 in the morning with a new (provisional) best lap of the track in 1:46.056, Petrucci then improved by two more tenths of a second in the second and decisive session, missing pole position by just 0.362 seconds. Dovizioso also made strides after facing some issues in the morning, progressively posting quicker lap times and improving the feeling with the Desmosedici GP to finish Q1 in first position before taking ninth place on the grid in the final session. Michele Pirro, on track as a wild-card with a third Desmosedici GP fielded by the Mission Winnow Ducati team, brilliantly passed Q1 just behind Dovizioso then finished Q2 in 12th position.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:45.881 (3rd)
“I’m very happy for this first row, because it was really important for us to make the most of our potential even during qualifying after posting the provisional new best lap in the morning. Before going out on track for Q2, my goal was to do a 1:45.8 and take first row, which is what actually happened, even though someone was able to do slightly better. I expect a tough race tomorrow, because I’m still not 100 percent fit due to a cold. After some laps I feel fatigued, but our pace seems competitive and the support of all the ducatisti in the grandstands will surely give me extra energy. It’ll be crucial to have a good start, then we’ll try to play our cards wisely.”
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:46.293 (9th)
“We’re competitive in terms of race pace but unfortunately today we struggled on the single lap, which slightly complicated our plans but also helped us understand how to improve the setup of my Desmosedici GP during FP4, as shown by the good lap time posted to get through Q1. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to push to the limit in Q2 because of the traffic, which made it very difficult to put a clean lap together even though second row was within our reach. Tomorrow we’ll have to recover positions and keep a strong pace from the very start. Given the track conditions, it’ll be crucial to pick the right tyres for the race, then we’ll be able to fight.”
Michele Pirro (#51 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:46.638 (12th)
“I’m quite happy because I was able to do a 1:46.2 in Q1, which is my personal best here at Mugello, and both Dovizioso and I were able to make it through and be in Q2, preceding some tough rivals. Unfortunately, in Q2, the ‘waiting’ game with other riders made me lose a bit of focus and I wasn’t able to post a really quick lap time as I made some mistakes. I’m sorry because, with two new soft rear tyres, I could have possibly posted a high 1:45 and start much closer to the front, but I’m also confident ahead of the race and I hope all Ducati riders can be in the mix. We all work together to be protagonists here at Mugello.”
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will take it back to the track tomorrow, June 2nd, at 09:40 for a warm-up session ahead of the race, which is scheduled to start at 14:00 local time (CET).