Danilo Petrucci felt his home Italian MotoGP chances were 'half ruined' when he was pushed wide by Marc Marquez on the opening lap at Mugello.

The Pramac Ducati rider exited the first turn in third place after Marquez ran wide, but was then forced off track when the Repsol Honda rider dived for the inside at Turn two.

The incident saw the Italian lose half-a-dozen places before fighting his way up the order to third by the middle stages.

However his planned strategy of saving the tyre had gone out of the window and Petrucci suffered in the later laps, fading to seventh as a small fuel pump issue also cost him some power.

"It's a shame, because you work for the entire weekend to try to manage the tyre, you try to think of a strategy," said Petrucci, who had qualified in fifth. "I was thinking, OK, I'm not a good starter, but I did two starts per free practice, to work on my weak point. And it worked.

"But then Márquez went wide at the first corner, and then at the second corner, he went wide again, but I was in the middle. I was just lucky that the runoff area wasn't gravel, but I only stayed on the asphalt by one centimetre.



"I lost six or seven positions. I was maybe ninth or tenth on the first lap. Then I recovered six positions, trying to pass Crutchlow, Rins, Iannone, Rossi, Zarco.

"I pushed very very hard, but it was not in my plan. My plan was to stay quite calm in the first part of the race to try to save the tyre for the second part, but at five laps to go I was over my tyre consumption. And it was very very hard to keep the pace of Rossi and Iannone.

"Then the bike was difficult to manage, we got a small problem with the fuel pump, so I didn't have the same power of the start of the race. So very very difficult to manage. Unfortunately we lost even the top five. Still in the championship we are there, only nine points to the second place, but we missed an opportunity today.

"Half of the race was ruined on the first lap. When you are third at the first corner and at the second, you are tenth, all the work you did in qualifying is wasted."

Should Marquez have been given a penalty?

"I don't know, I'm not the Race Director, but I think the Race Director should do something," Petrucci said.

"In the Safety Commission in Austin, we said that if a rider ruins the race of another rider, he should be penalised.

"I was third, and then tenth at the next corner. He put me out of the track, and I was quite lucky that the runoff area was asphalt, because if it was a corner later, I would be in the gravel and would maybe crash."

Petrucci was especially aggrieved given the criticism he received for contact with Aleix Espargaro in Argentina, which caused the Aprilia rider to run wide.

"I did, not the same thing, because Espargaro didn't go out of the track in Argentina, and I was painted as a killer. And so I'm not always complaining, but you waste today the work of a lot of people, and for sure I have to give my 110% to recover.

"But it was not in the plan to push a lot in the first laps, but when you are tenth or ninth, what should you do? Stay there?

"If I know I will finish seventh, maybe I will stay there, and I could finish in fifth position, but my target today was to be on the podium. I stayed there for some part of the race.

"Anyway, I would like to thank my team, because in this race there was a lot of pressure. The target was the podium, but for a non-factory team to say that the target was the podium and then to stay in the podium positions for half of the race was for me a great race."

Marquez said of the incident: "I was trying to push a lot in the first two laps because Jorge and the guys with the soft tyre were there. In Turn 2 we were three bikes together and I don't know if the bike next to me was a Yamaha or a Suzuki and I realised that Petrucci went in so quick and I was [nearly] touching him from the back; if that happened we would have crashed.

"So I tried to ‘go in’ and release but we lost a lot of time, him more than me, but this is something in Turn 2 that is difficult control at the start."

Was there any connection between the incident with Marquez and the fuel pump problem?

"No, we only discovered the problem with the fuel pump after the race. I felt only a little bit less power."

Petrucci, tipped to replace Sunday's winner Jorge Lorenzo at the factory Ducati team next season, is sixth in the world championship but only nine points from second place Valentino Rossi.


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