21 January 2015
Petrucci ‘can exploit Ducati MotoGP braking’
“Danilo is a very good rider in the braking zone. And one of the highlights of Ducati is exactly the braking zone. Should he understand it in depth, he can exploit the full potential of the bike”
It's a case of new rider and crew chief for Pramac Ducati in MotoGP 2015, with Danilo Petrucci arriving from Ioda and Daniele Romagnoli joining from the Factory Ducati team.
In a boost for Petrucci and Pramac, Romagnoli already knows the Desmosedici GP14.1 well, having worked on the same specification of machine as crew chief for Cal Crutchlow last season.
Romagnoli - also crew chief to Colin Edwards and team manager for Jorge Lorenzo, before teaming up with Crutchlow in 2011 - made his Pramac debut alongside Petrucci at November's post-season test.
"The three days went beyond our expectations,” said Romagnoli. “We started very quietly to let Danilo get used to the bike. On the second day the great surprise: he set the fastest time in the wet. I knew he was fast in wet conditions and so is the Ducati, but what struck me was the immediate rapport the rider was able to create with the bike.
“On the third day we worked on the set-up to let Danilo understand how to adapt himself to rear grip and how to handle the power. The Ducati is famous for its powerful engine so it is not immediately easy to ride. During the third day of tests we found a good set-up, working on geometry, suspension and electronics. The seventh fastest time made our day and we all went home happy.”
Romagnoli was equally impressed with Petrucci's off-track attitude.
"I found a humble guy, very focused on details,” Romagnoli said. “He had many questions on the working methods at Ducati and on what has been done over the last few years. He listened a lot and this is a sign of great maturity. Moreover, he knows that the best thing to do is to build team chemistry through detailed and effective communication. That makes everybody work better together."
In terms of riding strengths, Romagnoli believes Petrucci is well placed to make the most of the Ducati's braking ability.
“From a technical point of view, Danilo is a very good rider in the braking zone. And one of the highlights of Ducati is exactly the braking zone. Should he understand it in depth, he can exploit the full potential of the bike.”
Romagnoli and Petrucci now have just a few more weeks to wait until getting back on track during the first official pre-season test, at Sepang in early February.
"After the winter, the initial step is to get reacquainted with the bike,” he explained. “Sepang is very different from Valencia. Once Danilo has reached a good level of performance we will start to work to find the most suited set-up to enhance his skills.
“Sepang is also important because Ducati will provide electronics evolution for the 14.1. During the season further updates will be introduced to improve the performance of the bike.”
Petrucci's team-mate Yonny Hernandez will race a GP14.2 spec bike. The factory team will run GP14.3s at the opening Sepang test, before the all-new GP15 makes its debut at the second Malaysian outing.
Petrucci is replacing Andrea Iannone, who has moved to the official Ducati team in place of Crutchlow. Iannone will continue to work with crew chief Marco Rigamonti.
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