Danilo Petrucci described Friday’s MotoGP track action in Argentina as “my worst since joining the [factory] Ducati team” as the Italian suffered a crash and struggled to the 13th fastest lap time.

The 28-year old admitted he had gone in the wrong set-up direction in free practice and struggled with the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit’s infamous lack of grip.

“Sincerely at the moment it's my worst day since I joined the Ducati team,” he said, 0.559s off the top. “But I made a mistake this morning trying to push as much as possible and maybe the track was not ready and I crashed because there was not so much grip.

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“This afternoon I recovered time but at the end we went in a direction with the set-up, I crashed so we come back and now we are following again that direction.

“So at the end we lost the first session, we lost time and especially a couple of tyres and this is maybe a problem for tomorrow morning to have a good lap time to maybe try two new sets of tyres.

“We'll see. I'm not happy but I'm confident that we can recover the time and stay more close to the front.”

What happened with the crash? “[It was] Very, very strange because the front locked and this happened when you don’t have a lot of grip on the track.

“We used the experience of last year, we are not far from the set-up of last year, but at the end of the weekend and at the moment the track is improving lap by lap so maybe the track was not ready for that set-up yet.

“I braked and crashed when I was almost straight. Then I lost the feeling. We have to change set-up. So a lot of things.

“For sure a crash is very difficult to digest, especially at the beginning of the weekend when you have to check everything.”

Petrucci’s struggles were a contrast to the speed shown by Andrea Dovizioso (first) and Jack Miller (second). In the #9’s eyes, the speed of the other GP19s was a positive.

“This is good because I'm still wearing the suit because I was watching the data from Jack and Dovi and the difference is not so big but in some parts there are some differences.

“For sure I made a mistake in my flying lap that cost me at least two tenths, but anyway we will try to enter the top ten tomorrow morning.

“I was so unlucky when I crashed I came to the pits, switched bikes and the second bike had a problem so I lost also the last three or four laps of the morning. And in fact I lost the first session.

“This is a problem but in the second session we recovered, stayed more close to the front so I'm quite positive about tomorrow.”

 

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