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Italian GP: Petrucci 3rd in Friday’s free practice. Dovizioso 11th, Pirro 13th as a wild-card at Mugello

The Mission Winnow Ducati team resumed action today at Mugello Circuit for the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix, sixth round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship and home race for the Italian manufacturer. In two free-practice sessions, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso worked as usual on the race setup, posting respectively the third (+0.131) and eleventh (+0.615) time in a classification characterized by particularly narrow gaps, with 18 riders within less than one second, headed by rookie Francesco Bagnaia on the Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team. Official test rider Michele Pirro also joined the action as a wild-card, posting the 13th time (+0.689).

Second in the morning session, Petrucci improved his lap times by over nine tenths of a second in FP2, clocking his personal best in 1:46.863. Dovizioso also made steps forward despite still not being completely satisfied with the feeling on the bike, taking almost one second off his best time in the afternoon with a 1:47.347. Pirro, on track with a third Desmosedici GP19 fielded by the Mission Winnow Ducati team, finished the day with a personal best of 1:47.421.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:46.863 (3rd)
“Today the feeling with the bike was quite good, even though I’m not in perfect shape physically since I have a cold. Both sessions went quite well, even though the track doesn’t have much grip at the moment, to the point that you don’t feel a big difference even with a new soft rear tyre. So far, I’m still losing some time in the final sector, where I struggle to make the bike turn as I’d want to and I still can’t pick the lines I’d like to in the last corner. This is what we’ll focus on first, analyzing and comparing data. We need to stay focused and get ready for a fight during qualifying, because we’re all close at the top. Our goal is to fight for pole position, or the first two rows at least.”

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:47.347 (11th)
“All in all, we’re actually not that far. I still haven’t found the best feeling with my Desmosedici GP, even though we’re quite competitive in terms of race pace. During FP2 we tried and compared two quite different setups, both with positives and negatives, so now we need to be smart putting together all the data to find the best possible compromise. As we were expecting, compared with recent years, there are more fast riders who can fight at the top and some of our advantages perhaps are not that obvious anymore, but we’ve just started and I’m confident that working methodically, as we always do, we’ll be in the mix both during qualifying and the race.”

Michele Pirro (#51 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:47.421 (13th)
“It’s been a bit of a strange day, because in the morning I was fast despite not being able to clock many laps, while in the afternoon track conditions changed a bit and I couldn’t improve my lap times enough to finish within the top ten. We need to analyse the data since I was faster on a medium rear tyre, with which I felt competitive and closed FP1 in third position. Now, together with my team, we’ll crunch some data to understand how to improve with softer compounds. I’m confident we’ll make more steps forward tomorrow.”

The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow, June 1st, at 09:55 for the third free-practice session with qualifying scheduled to start at 14:10, shortly after FP4.