The almost annual rise in MotoGP top speeds is a cause of concern for some, but from a rider perspective it’s the safest way to improve their lap time.

Although Ducati's top speed dominance came under threat from Honda last season, the factory again raised the all-time MotoGP record - clocking 356.7km/h (221.6mph) on the Mugello main straight with Andrea Dovizioso during practice for the team's home Italian Grand Prix.

It requires a huge amount of bravery to keep the throttle pinned at such enormous speeds, especially when 'jumping' the twisting crest at Mugello, but it's nowhere near as technically challenging as trying to gain time during braking or cornering, which is where the vast majority of mistakes and accidents occur.

"One of the strong points of our bike is the speed on the main straight," said Dovizioso's factory Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci, winner of last year's Mugello race, during an exclusive interview with

"For sure, we always need a lot of speed because it's the safest way to improve the lap time, because you can earn some tenths of a second without risking in the corners.

"[In 2019] year we had other challengers, other manufacturers, that were quite close on top speed, but it depends not only on the engine," he added, referring to areas such as aerodynamics, electronics and mechanical grip.

While hoping Ducati engineers can keep the Desmosedici at the head of the speed charts once again in 2020, Honda's renewed straight-line challenge means the Desmosedici can no longer afford to lose as much time in the corners.

"We miss a little bit of handling and stability on the front, let's say turning of the bike," Petrucci said.

"But I cannot talk 100% about the rideability of our bike compared to other manufacturers because in MotoGP I've only ridden for Ducati. My first years were with CRT bikes, which were nothing like a real MotoGP bike. "

Petrucci will continue development of the 2020 Ducati, alongside his MotoGP rivals at next month's Sepang test.



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