“Cruel,” was the word Danilo Petrucci used once and then again to describe his exit from the Dutch MotoGP race at Assen, as an issue with his GP15's electronics halted a potential charge to a podium finish.
Petrucci admitted that “I have no words to describe my feeling” when he knew his race was run, and he would have to depart the Netherlands empty-handed, following a weekend that was packed with promise.
Both he and team-mate Scott Redding showed well in both wet and dry conditions across free practice and qualifying. Indeed, Petrucci climbed the order to lead the race before a rainstorm of biblical proportions brought proceedings to a premature halt.
Although he started the second part well, it would come to an unfortunate end after a problem emerged from the start.
“At the start, I went full throttle for the launch start. A piece of generator came off my bike. When I started I felt immediately that something was wrong. It was a generator problem. My bike was without electricity and went off.”
On a frustrating day as a whole, Petrucci continued, “Cruel! In the first race I start so calmly. After the crash in FP4 I decide to understand the situation. Then when the track was going to dry I decide to push and I follow Valentino and Dovi. Then the rain started again and the situation was quite risky.
“I decided to risk something to go ahead but the situation was absolutely unsafe. Race direction made the right decision to stop. There was too much water and on the back straight it was spinning in sixth gear at 280kph. It was so scary, even because with the reflex, we couldn't see the kerbs. We were like a boat inside the ocean.
“In the next start the situation was better. Rossi and Dovizioso started so fast. I had some trouble with the dashboard. It started to switch on, switch off, switch on. When I arrived at the last chicane the dashboard went off. I said then, 'Today is my day… nothing will stop me!' I brake hard at turn one, went inside Miller and then at turn five the bike stopped when I opened the throttle. It was really, really cruel. I have no words to describe my feeling at that moment.
“This is racing and we have to see the positive side of this Sunday. There is not so much positive but we were very competitive in the dry and the wet. Truly I wanted to finish top five in both situations and see what we could do. I felt really good in both races. We know this and we go to Sachsenring with a good feeling and we want to forget this Sunday as soon as possible.”