Danilo Petrucci is already bracing for a difficult Americas MotoGP for Ducati against his major manufacturer rivals, while he feels the Circuit of the Americas is “almost perfect for Marquez and his Honda”.

The Italian rider’s best result at the current United States-based round remains eighth place from 2017 and while he’s confident of improving on that statistic he firmly believes the circuit suits the Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha packages over his factory Ducati bike.

Petrucci has explained the high number of acute and slow corners at COTA gives the more agile bikes a key performance advantage and he fears the traditionally bumpy track surface will destabilise his riding.

The factory Ducati rider also pointed to Honda’s engine gains giving Marquez the “perfect” combination in order to keep his strong pace on the track’s long straights.

“I like the bike very, very stable. I don’t like the bike with a lot of movement and this track is almost perfect for Marquez and his Honda,” Petrucci said. “Especially this year as they improved the engine so with the long straights and acceleration it will be a bigger problem.

“It was just a problem before as Marquez always won the race here but I think this year he is more competitive than other years.

“I think for us we are a little bit better compared to last year but only on paper. I don’t know why our bike doesn’t absorb the bumps so much. Maybe it is for the same reason we struggle on tight corners as we need more space to turn the bike.

“I expect the Honda and the Suzuki to be very competitive here and as always Rossi and Vinales. So a lot of people.”

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Despite his concerns, Petrucci wants to reserve his full judgment until he gets on track during Friday practice to assess both Ducati’s gains and the COTA circuit surface. The Texan track, which hosted IndyCar for the first time just three weeks ago, has recently been resurfaced in a bid to cure its bumpy surface which was a key complaint during last years MotoGP round.

“We have to understand if the track has changed because there is new asphalt in some parts,” he said. “But it is not a secret that it is difficult for us with a lot of tight corners and slow sectors and a lot of bumps which is not good for us as our bike is not so stable on the bumps.

“We have to see what is going on, especially from last year, and see the difference in setup we have for this year. Then we can start working but we have to understand the condition of the track tomorrow.”