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WorldSBK rookie Petrucci focuses on Ducati attention to detail

Graeme Brown/Geebee
Danilo Petrucci, Barni Spark Racing, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2023 WorldSBK Barcelona WorldSBK Test

Ex-MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci says it is imperative for him to find more performance over a single lap if he is to battle for race wins in the 2023 WorldSBK Championship.

The experienced Italian made his WorldSBK debut this season aboard a factory-spec Ducati Panigale V4 R prepared by the Barni Spark Racing team.

It has been a competitive start to the season for the two-time MotoGP race winner, the Italian peaking with a best finish of fifth place last time out at the Mandalika Circuit in Indonesia.


Having tested recently at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while Petrucci is confident in his race pace, he is frustrated that he is unable to extract more performance from the stickiest qualifying rubber.

“It was quite a short day because of two crashes; fortunately, really low speed at Turn 5 in the middle of the corner. We were testing something different and also a different seat, a lower one. Let’s say we are quite good on race pace but not on the flying lap when we put new tyres. 

“I can’t use the potential of the new tyres so I’m not really fast on the timesheets. The feeling was more or less okay on both days but, for sure, we need to understand why I struggle a lot with the new tyre. I can’t wait to go to Assen. It’s one of my favourite circuits.”

“I expected [single lap pace] it to be better and to feel more comfortable. It was not the problem. We struggled a lot throughout the test with the lack of grip we haven’t found anything to really improve the situation. The new seat, we still have to understand whether it’s better or not. For sure, I was expecting a little bit more.”

After two rounds and six races, Petrucci sits eighth in the overall standings as the top rookie.

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