Ducati "struggled" to match MotoGP rivals' long-run pace at Sepang

Oriol Puigdemont, Lewis Duncan and Valentin Khorounzhiy
Autosport
Ducati 'struggling' to match rivals' pace
Ducati 'struggling' to match rivals' pace

Ducati has "struggled" to maintain the same pace as its main MotoGP rivals during the Sepang test, says works rider Danilo Petrucci.

Petrucci led a Ducati top-four lockout in this same test last year, but was only sixth-fastest over the three days of 2020 Sepang running - with the lead Desmosedici of Pramac rider Francesco Bagnaia in fourth.

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More pertinently, neither Petrucci nor works team-mate Andrea Dovizioso managed to consistently lap within the 1m59s margin during their 10-lap race run midway through the final day.

The likes of Maverick Vinales (Yamaha), Marc Marquez (Honda), Alex Rins (Suzuki) and even Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) appeared more reliably fast on their runs.

"For sure, in the lap time, I am not so fast," Petrucci said.

"I am not too far from the lead but one year ago I remember we were four Ducatis [up front], I did the record lap - but it's not the thing that we are looking for.

"I think for example Maverick and Marc did another type of work completely, and I think they are the two fast riders, also Espargaro is very fast, Rins, [Fabio] Quartararo.

"There are a lot of riders able to ride more than 10 laps in 1m59s. And we're struggling to keep this pace."

Asked whether he was referring to Aprilia's Espargaro or his KTM-riding brother Pol, Petrucci said: "Both, unfortunately."

Ducati 'struggling' to match rivals' pace
Ducati 'struggling' to match rivals' pace

Petrucci conceded he was "for sure not fully satisfied" with how the test had panned out.

"Still some work to do, and for sure there are many riders faster, and I'm not happy about it, but at least we understand many things, and this is good," he said.

Dovizioso, who was 15th but set his best time on a harder tyre, was more positive but admitted "the feeling was not that good".

"What we can see from the test is that Maverick is really strong in the simulation," said Dovizioso.

"Rins [is also] really comfortable.

"And we are not that far, so this is good. We did our best lap with the hard tyre, like [Pramac rider] Jack [Miller], so this is good.

"But still confidence is not that good."

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