Danilo Petrucci accepts it was a tough opening day for Ducati having felt slow over both his qualifying and race practice runs at Sachsenring.

Despite conceding Ducati’s GP19 wouldn’t be suited to the tight and twisty German MotoGP track, Petrucci remained optimistic heading into the race weekend given his strong results at the circuit in recent seasons culminating in fourth place last year as lead Ducati rider.

But after ending FP1 down in 15th place, Petrucci could only recover to eighth place in the afternoon session during the soft tyre runs – almost eight-tenths of a second off pace-setter Marc Marquez around the shortest track on the calendar – while he also had concerns over his Ducati’s tyre conversation over a race run.

“Today has been a bit more complicated than what we expected because, despite knowing that Sachsenring is not the most ideal track for the characteristics of our bike, we’ve always been quite competitive here in the past. However, we struggled a bit in the first two sessions,” Petrucci said.

“Not only we need to improve our speed on a single lap, but first and foremost our consistency in terms of pace. We also need to be more efficient in managing the rear tyre, because when we try to save it we’re not quick enough and the race is really long here.

“We have our work cut out for us to find a better balance and now we'll analyse the data in detail. I believe our potential is higher than what we’ve shown so far.”

Petrucci ended Friday practice just 0.042s off best Ducati rider Jack Miller, in seventh place, as the Italian manufacturers’ struggles at Sachsenring continued.

Ducati’s last win at the German circuit came with Casey Stoner back in the wet 2008 MotoGP race, while the Bologna-based squad has collected just two podium finishes over the past decade at Sachsenring.

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