Danilo Petrucci may be feeling physically weak, but the Italian made a strong start to his home MotoGP with third in Friday practice at Mugello.

Petrucci was suffering from the flu and also struggled to get a good run through the final corner leading onto the fastest straight of the season.

Nonetheless, the Factory Ducati rider was only 0.131s from surprise leader Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Ducati) and eight places ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

"The feeling is quite good, even if I'm not fully fit because of a very bad flu. I'm a bit weak and struggled a bit this afternoon. Hopefully tomorrow I will be better," said Petrucci, who began the day with second behind Marc Marquez in FP1.

"Anyway, both of the sessions have been quite good, even if there is a lack of grip over all the track to the point that you don't feel a big difference even with a new soft rear tyre.

"I struggled a lot to do the last corner, my bike doesn't turn a lot, and it's very difficult for me to connect the entry of the corner and the exit. So it was never perfect, that corner.

"We have to understand why and now we study some data and we can check also with the other riders so maybe I will learn something. We need to stay focused and get ready for a fight during qualifying, because we're all close at the top.

"Our goal is to fight for pole position, or the first two rows at least."

One of those opponents could be rookie Bagnaia, who led a MotoGP session for the first time.

"Pecco is a great rider. I think in this first part of the championship he paid a little bit for a lack of experience and bad luck. But he's very fast, he's arriving and for sure he's an Italian rider like us and he Mugello very well," Petrucci said.

"His bike is older than mine but it's very similar so he's got a good chance. Unfortunately for us he's another opponent!"

Petrucci was not the only sick rider at Mugello on Friday, with Marc Marquez also suffering from a fever.

"We can compare our flu!" joked Petrucci.

 

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