Danilo Petrucci returns to the scene of his most recent MotoGP podium, as the revised 2020 world championship moves on to Catalunya this weekend.

Last year the Barcelona rostrum marked three top-3 finishes in a row by the factory Ducati rider, bookending an emotional debut home victory at Mugello.

But there's been little for the Italian to celebrate since, including suffering a rare 'pointless' 16th place finish at the opening Misano round.

"I am very sad… Riding for 16th place didn't happen since nine years ago when I started my career in MotoGP," a downbeat Petrucci had said after Misano 1. "I expected to be faster than last year, and I am slower than when I was as a rookie with the CRT bike.

"I don't remember the last time I raced and scored no points. So it's quite difficult to digest."

"The main problem is still stopping the bike. I don't have the right support from the [new spec] rear tyre, and this means that I have to brake and stop the bike with the front wheel, but it's not enough," he explained.

"So I have to understand how to change my riding style and how to adapt the bike."

In addition, Petrucci "cannot feel an improvement when I put a new tyre, so that means I cannot really use the new tyre, I am doing the same lap time like the tyre is ten laps old."

While the mid-week test between the Misano rounds passed without any notable progress for Petrucci, he was at least able to salvage a tenth-place finish in the following Emilia Romagna race. But it was far from satisfying.

"I started well, but I didn't have confidence on the front, and I couldn't stop the bike," Petrucci said.

"I am happy with the progress we have been able to make compared to the previous races, but it is clear that we are still missing something.

"[Now] after two tough Grands Prix, we are back racing on a circuit where last year I managed to get on the podium.

"The season is definitely not going as we had hoped. Still, we won't give up: at Montmeló, we will try to improve the tenth place of Misano, but the conditions that we will find there will be very different: the asphalt and temperatures could prove decisive for our performance.

"The key will be to be able to interpret these two factors well."

Petrucci is currently 14th in the world championship, 52 points behind team-mate and world championship leader Andrea Dovizioso.

 

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