Danilo Petrucci lamented his lousy qualifying position in the wake of a frustrating Sunday of MotoGP action at Assen, as he crashed out of twelfth place when confident he had the pace to at least battle with the leading group of eight.

Instead, the Italian labeled the Dutch Grand Prix a “weekend to forget.” One of the names expected to fight among the top men, Petrucci made a series of early mistakes from his qualifying position of eleventh and was battling grip issues from the start.

“I got no traction after a few laps,” said Petrucci. “I try to overtake Jack but I go wide at the chicane so I had to lose one second for the rules and I switched to position 15. I start to recover some position and I was behind Jack in P11 when I crashed at turn five.

“Anyway, difficult weekend, it was quite good but the thing was that during the race, after the 5th-6th lap my pace was like the first group but when you start in P11 it’s very difficult to recover some position.

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“It’s a shame because I was the only one to score points all the races and now even my ranking in the championship is not as good as yesterday because I switched P5 to P8. But anyway, there are 10 races to go and we can come back stronger in the next one.”

On his crash, Petrucci said, “I was just pushing on that part of the track, turn 5, was one of my best parts, because it’s a corner that I like, was maybe one of the only points on the track that I gain some time, but I was able to go very on the inside with the brakes on.

“As I told you, I struggled from the beginning, was like my tyre was already used and the first 5 laps I think my gap was 5 seconds and then remain 5 seconds until I crash, I crash with 6 seconds from the lead and I did 10 laps with the pace of the leaders’ group. For sure we understood that the qualifying is really important in MotoGP, even Jorge started next to me but did an incredible start. His pace was not good like the first one but he stayed in the middle of the group.

“But we have to understand why my bike spins so much at the beginning and I had to wait to the tyre to start to be used for everyone. I mean I had to wait 4 or 5 laps because I had no extra grip at the beginning and then I start to push, push, push but was too late. I did a mistake because it was impossible for me to stop the bike and I cut the chicane and it’s a very nasty point because you have to lose 1 second until the finish line and it’s in acceleration, it’s very close to the chicane, so I lost 5 positions.

“And then I recover that position, I recover 3 seconds from Jack but when I arrive next to him I crash. I’m really sorry for everyone. Our ranking was very good, now it’s still good but we are behind, we are in P8, we lose contact with Zarco and Crutchlow for the best independent.

“There are still eleven races but for sure it would have been better to be in front of them, to score at least five or six points to stay there but it has been a weekend to forget.”

Was the wind a factor? “Yes, on Friday the wind was in the opposite direction compared to yesterday and today and this makes things more difficult for us,” he said. “The wind was in the opposite direction in the fastest part of the track so we had to set up the bike in a different way and this maybe bring us to the wrong road.

“And yesterday I made a mistake in qualifying in the last flying lap and as I told you, starting from P11, if you don’t make a good start it’s difficult. But a top 10 could have been possible but anyway. I’m sorry for all my team, we will try to recover some points in the next race.”

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