Danilo Petrucci has had a slightly more improved weekend aboard the RC16 Tech 3 KTM, but could only manage 17th in qualifying after a couple of fourth places in free practice for the Doha MotoGP race. 

The Italian is in the same boat as fellow KTM riders Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Iker Lecuona, who have all endured a difficult two weeks of racing and pre-season prior to that in Qatar. 

But like Oliveira, Petrucci has seemingly found some improvements during this second weekend in Doha, however, the former Ducati rider could not take advantage in Q1. 

Speaking after qualifying, Petrucci said: "I felt this qualifying was like a missed opportunity because I could be much faster, but I decided to go alone and when I did that my top speed was much lower without the slipstream. 

"This would not be a problem most of the time on the straight. I’m feeling better but the bike was quite different from FP4 to qualifying. 

"We had to try something and I could not enjoy the extra grip because it was too much and with the wind I could not open the throttle like I wanted because the front was a little bit lighter. 

"I’m feeling quite well because today and also yesterday we showed that we have found a way that suits me. 

"We have time to find a solution with the top speed for tomorrow because in 4th, 5th and 6th I lost too many tenths and three tenths of a lap is too much to the other bikes. It’s a shame."

Petrucci is the tallest rider in MotoGP and therefore riders with a bigger frame can often produce a great slipstream for smaller, lighter riders. 

However, when discussing his strategy for the race, the Italian is hoping to stay ‘as close’ as possible to his competitors in front and use their own ‘slipstream’ to his benefit. 

"For sure I am feeling good into the corners and the strategy is to stay as close as possible to the others and try to use the slipstream to lose as less as possible through the penultimate corner and main straight," said Petrucci. 

"For sure there will be some other riders that will do the same! If you look at the grid I am one of the last but when it is like this you have to deal with it. 

"We just have to find a solution with the gearbox and then I will brake later like I did in qualifying."