Andrea Dovizioso and new factory Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci took part in some formation riding on day two of the Sepang MotoGP test.

The pair rode together for a two-part 20-lap race simulation, the first half of which saw Dovizioso leading Petrucci, before they pitted and returned with Petrucci in front.

For Petrucci it was an eye-opening experience that helped in his quest to extend tyre life, through lowering rear tyre temperature.

"I learned many, many things, especially when I was behind Dovi in the first part," Petrucci said.

"We started with a new tyre and Dovi is very good at going fast, but also saving the tyre. This is very difficult for me. I'm fast for one or two laps and then I begin to struggle with the rear tyre. But I learned many things by staying behind him.

"In the middle of the corner, I'm always too fast to open the throttle. And Dovi says 'it's the opposite, you have to wait, so stay calm with the throttle'.

"At the end [of the first part, while following Dovi] I said, 'it's incredible that our tyres are almost new'. This never happened to me before. And it was my target for today; to be fast for 20 laps.

"I worked a lot in that part and I'm happy because I understand now where the problem is and what is the cause.

"It's not easy, because when you are pushing 101% you always follow your instinct, especially during time attack. But I have to think about it because I don't miss speed, but I need consistency during the race.

"So it's important to understand for me, like Dovi showed me, this is the way to go fast and save the tyre."

Petrucci admitted that when it was his turn to lead, for the second half of the simulation, he had been worried he wouldn't be fast enough.

"I was a little bit scared and I said to Dovi, 'If I'm not fast enough, please go'. But at the end I go very, very fast and we did out best times in the last two laps and it was quite impressive because with 20 laps on the tyre we did a 2m 0.4s.

"That's quite good for me. It's not enough to win the race, with this rider maybe not even the podium, but for sure it's a step up considering last year where we have been quite far from the podium."

While the team-simulation was a big help to Petrucci, the formation riding also allowed Dovizioso and Ducati to check tyre temperatures when following another bike.

"In many races there are the problem of overheating the tyre when you follow another rider and maybe Dovi was checking this thing," Petrucci said.

Dovizioso was fastest for most of the day, being bumped to fourth in the final hour, while Petrucci was ninth quickest in terms of single lap time.

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro was the only other rider to complete a race simulation on Thursday, with an average of 2m 1.106s over 20 laps.

Dovizioso's race simulation (20 laps, split 10+10)

2:01.100

2:00.444

2:00.670

2:00.614

2:00.537

2:00.774

2:00.637

2:00.891

2:00.886

2:00.276

-

2:01.602

2:00.976

2:00.664

2:00.745

2:00.753

2:00.479

2:00.604

2:00.555

2:00.508

2:00.592

Average (combined): 2m 0.715s

Petrucci's race simulation (20 laps, split 10+10)

2:01.107

2:00.468

2:00.622

2:00.586

2:00.578

2:00.662

2:00.709

2:00.926

2:00.793

2:00.477

-

2:01.387

2:00.966

2:00.892

2:00.826

2:00.702

2:00.410

2:00.522

2:00.766

2:00.403

2:00.437

Average (combined): 2m 0.712s

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