After three years battling with uncompetitive 'CRT' level machinery, Danilo Petrucci believes he finally has 'everything' in place for a competitive 2015 MotoGP season.
The Italian will swap his 'stock' Ioda-run Aprilia for a Factory class Ducati after signing to replace countryman Andrea Iannone at the Pramac team.
After a late start to testing, Petrucci's 2014 campaign was severely disrupted by a broken left wrist at Jerez, forcing him out of four races. Petrucci returned to secure five further point scoring finishes, and the GP14.1 ride, but admits his wrist is still some way off 100 percent fitness.
In an exclusive interview with Crash.net
Petrucci said of the injury, “I think it's not a good situation because I feel the hand has less power than the right hand… I hope to improve but for the moment riding in MotoGP it's ok.”
The injury did little to slow him down at the Valencia test where he posted the ninth fastest time of the three combined days. Paired with Cal Crutchlow's ex-crew chief Daniele Romagnoli, Petrucci believes the Ducati is adept at short distance runs. Maintaining that pace over race distance is the next challenge.
“The time is very good but I was not so happy because the pace with the harder tyre was not so good. I have to work on race configuration. I want to work especially on the pace for doing my best in the race, not just qualifying.
“I think in the beginning the GP14 is the best solution for me. I also have all the data of the past season and many riders to compare… The bike is at the highest level of [its] development.”
Having ridden CRT machinery with Ioda since his move to the MotoGP class in 2012, Petrucci is hoping to build on his best result of eighth and claim regular point scoring finishes next year.
“I hope so. Scoring points all season. In 2015 it would be a good target,” he said. “Maybe sometimes I hope to finish in the top ten. But I don't set targets. Obviously in testing to finish less than one second from Marquez was good. I have everything to do my best. The team is great, the bike too… 2015 will be the first time I have everything.
“If you finish the races you can make eighth place, one time tenth, one time eleventh. At the end of the championship it pays a lot. 18 races are too much and if you score points in every race you can be in the first ten.”
One thing that could harm consistency could be the troublesome wrist, which Petrucci says can be felt when training or relaxing at home rather than while sat on the bike. Any operation to solve it would be too costly in terms of recovery time.
“The operation that I could do is very difficult because I have to do the fusion with two bones. In Barcelona they said that I have to stay eight months out of racing. At that moment it's very easy because if you're going out of MotoGP for eight months it means you stop. I can continue for about ten years with this wrist so maybe during this time the situation can change.”
To read the full interview, in which Petrucci speaks candidly about Ioda's difficult season, growing up in the MotoGP paddock, his interest in Superbike racing and riding at Valentino Rossi's ranch CLICK HERE