Factory Ducati MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci said that despite his first podium as a factory rider in Le Mans, there is no weight off his shoulders, insisting that people have always put pressure on him.
The Italian converted his first front row start of the season into his first podium of 2019, finishing behind Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. In spite of his first podium, Petrucci said this is all a familiar story for him.
“No [it’s not a weight off my shoulders], since 2017 people give me pressure. The situation two years ago with Lorenzo and last year the same, I have always a lot of pressure and I have won nothing at the moment,” he said.
“I can’t imagine if I win something that one-day! But always people like to criticise me. But I just don’t listen and I don’t care.
“For this I have to say a big thanks to Andrea, he talked to me and said don’t care, push on your weak point and find the way to enjoy what you’re doing and this after Austin helped me a lot.
“Maybe the weight on me is maybe because I weigh a lot, I have this weight always on my shoulders.”
As for his race, the Italian got off the line well but after some early mistakes found himself having to recover and after fighting through, his progress was halted when he couldn’t find a way past his team-mate for second.
“Today was a very, very nice battle,” said Petrucci. “At the beginning I was there with Marc and for sure he was controlling the race.
“I don’t want to let him go, but at the end I made a big mistake in turn eight and lost three positions, down to P5. Trying to recover, this time I make another big mistake in lap five or six, I was in P6 very far from the lead and I said ‘no, like always, not today’. I started to push and push and it was good.
“At the end a good fight with Andrea, he was better than me in acceleration so this allows him to be a little bit far in the braking area. But at the end a very, very good result for our team.
“For sure Marc did his job, he was quite far, but we have to keep the good things, trying to stay focused as the next race is important for us, but only the next, we have to work on the bike because I think we can fight but to beat Marc you have to be very, very, very fast and you have to be 100% right in the right place at the right moment.”
Cameras captured Petrucci’s bike in Parc Ferme with damage to the right hand side of his GP19. The Italian admitted that he wasn’t sure who had knocked the winglet off his bike, but thinks it happened when he was battling back through the field.
“My bike was damaged on the right side, I touched with Marc at corner one, but it was on the left side,” he said.
“So when I was on the podium I started to think what rider it was with, and maybe it was with Pol Espargaro because in a moment there was a lot of riders in front of me and I start to pass. So maybe I touch with Pol Espargaro so this is the winglet I miss, but fortunately it was not a big damage.
“But my bike is always damaged after the race. Fortunately not big changes, but the bike is always touching with someone, I hope it didn’t affect Pol.”