With the factory Ducati trio covered by just 0.259s at the end of the German MotoGP, Danilo Petrucci feels the evidence is clear that they had reached the limit of the bike.

And that limit was only good enough for fourth, fifth and sixth places despite falls for Alex Rins and Fabio Quartararo.

"I think me, Jack, and Dovi rode the bike in the proper way," said Petrucci, who led the trio across the line after overtaking team-mate Dovizioso with two laps to go.

"The Ducati is a bike that is not so instinctive. You have to use a method to go fast. And for sure in the past year, I learned a lot from Dovi, and I started to ride in a similar way. And then I think Jack also looked at our data and discovered a new style for riding the bike.

"I think today all three of us showed the potential of the bike, because we finished in the same moment, more or less.

"For sure me and Dovi had a tough weekend and starting from 12th and 13th has not been easy. But we knew that we are strong in the races, but strong up to 4th or 5th position today.

"The crashes of Quartararo and Rins helped us, but I think we are on the limit of the bike. Because if you have three Ducatis on the same line, that is the potential of the bike, also for the riders.

"The problem is that we recover a lot of positions, but the podium is very, very far, like in Assen. We won in Mugello. We fought for the podium until Barcelona. Now the gap is becoming bigger."

While Marc Marquez rode to his fifth victory of the season at Sachsenring, title rival Dovizioso has dropped 58 points adrift of the Honda rider, with Petrucci six points further back in third.

"I want to work harder at home to stay more motivated and more focused, because my results are good, and I want to finish in third place in the championship," Petrucci said.

"But for sure Rins and Viñales are a little bit faster than us. And especially Marc, both here and Assen, had half-a-second per lap. It's quite impossible at the moment to follow him.

"We need something new, and we'll see."

A downbeat Dovizioso was clear that Ducati must finally conquer its lack of turning, since the steps made by their rivals mean the Desmosedici can no longer compensate in other areas.

"This track is strange for sure. There are only two or three hard braking areas, and especially there are very, very long corners where we don't feel the front turning," Petrucci said.

"I don't know where Marc is gaining a lot of time, but for sure in the part from Turn 2, 3 to Turn 9, 10, they are corners where you don't brake - you just close the throttle, and you don't load the front. So this is our weak point at the moment."

Petrucci suffered a big accident at Turn 9 in qualifying, which he said underlined that they were on the limit of the bike.

"Yesterday I tried to push a little bit more, and I arrived at the wall," he explained.

"So I'm trying my best, Dovi is trying his best, and Jack too, he's doing a good job, but we are always there.

"For sure I'm happy about my situation in the championship, because I'm P3, and I gained some points from Rins, who is fourth, but crashed. Now the problem is Maverick [second at Sachsenring, fifth in championship], who is gaining some points.

"But for fighting with these guys, we need something more.

"As I told you, I want to work more, not because I need because this makes me more hungry for the rest of the season, gives me more motivation. Because I want to finish in the top three positions.

"It's very hard at the moment, but I think we have to believe, and especially at home, we have to work and believe that still everything is possible."

The good news for Petrucci was that he at least escaped any fractures in his Saturday fall and now has the summer break to fully recover before Brno.

"My physical situation is okay," he said. "Yesterday, in the first ten minutes, I thought I had broken the metacarpal on the right hand. And it could have been a disaster.

"Fortunately, nothing happened and today I only had some pain in the right ankle."

Although falling further behind Marquez/Honda in the riders' and constructors' championships, Ducati still leads the teams' standings (by a reduced 38 points) from Repsol Honda.



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