At 300km/h, a MotoGP bike is moving at over 80 metres per second.

One of the difficulties faced by Danilo Petrucci during qualifying for the Styrian MotoGP was that a braking point difference of 4-5 metres cost him 0.2s in just two corners.

To put that level of precision into perspective, it takes a MotoGP bike just 0.060s to cover 5 metres at 300km/h.

"The limit is really tight," Petrucci said.

The Italian had joined fellow Ducati rider Johann Zarco in progressing through Qualifying 1, his lap time of 1m 23.772s being good enough for sixth on the grid if he had repeated it in Qualifying 2.

Instead, Petrucci was left in twelfth place, which means eleventh on the grid after Zarco's penalty, with a 1m 24.174s.

"I was happy about the improvements we did today but the fact is that I'm always on the limit, always too sensitive to the limit," he said. 

"I mean, in Qualifying 1 I was able to do a very good time. But whenever I tried to do a little bit more, I always go wide.

"Then in Qualifying 2 I braked just 4-5 metres earlier in Corner 3 and Corner 4 and I lost two tenths. So the limit is really tight."

Adding to the braking complications for Petrucci is that he's unable to use the rear to stop the bike.

"At the moment it's the main thing we miss and the thing that allowed me to be so fast at the beginning of last year," he said.

"The fact is, this year I cannot use the rear to brake because the bike becomes very unstable.

"The [2020] rear tyre has changed a lot this feeling and for me I cannot stop all the weight with only the front tyre. I need more support from the rear tyre and at the moment we haven't got it. Also the engine brake is very different to last year."

Further increasing the pressure on Petrucci to get every last metre from braking is a lack of top speed compared to team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

"Unfortunately I'm bigger and, last weekend, there wasn't so much difference but we noticed it from yesterday and this morning," he said.

"There are four straights here: The start-finish, after Turn 1, after Turn 3 and after Turn 8. And I lose 0.2-0.25s every lap. This is quite a big difference over a race distance.

"So we have to understand why. Maybe it's the aerodynamics, because I exit from the corner a little bit faster but I still lose in the main straight. And to close that gap in braking is tough.

"The good thing is maybe tomorrow will be a little bit cooler and this can only help me. So I'm confident."

Dovizioso, last Sunday's winner, will start from eighth on the grid.

 

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