Danilo Petrucci feels initial progress has been found on the opening day at the Thailand MotoGP as he bids to return to front-running form.

The factory Ducati rider has endured a tough time since the summer break, with his last top-six finish coming back in Germany, and he is looking to overhaul his Ducati setup and mental approach in order to fight back to the performances which saw him secure three consecutive podiums including his maiden MotoGP win in Mugello earlier this year.

Petrucci ended Friday practice at the Chang International Circuit in 11th place and narrowly missed out on the provisional Q2 spots by 0.021s to Suzuki’s Alex Rins.

But the Italian rider reflected on a positive day at the Thai track with his confidence building after a tough run of races.

“The podium is not possible at the moment but I don’t think we are far from the top five which is our target,” Petrucci said. “There are a lot of riders that are very fast but anyway it is a little step forward and I am happy. I am feeling quite good on the bike.

“This morning I was struggling on braking so we fixed that part but now turning is not really good so at the end we understood which is a better direction to follow for tomorrow.

“For this reason I am confident because I feel good with the bike, just we have to do small adjustments for tomorrow.

“It was not a revolution but something we already tried in the past so we started with a different setup but we adjusted during the day and we will adjust for tomorrow.

“We understood today the situation and it is better than the last two races. We are not far from the top five and the pace is not bad.”

 

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