Petrucci given one-place penalty for last-lap collision with Vierge

WorldSBK rookie Danilo Petrucci has been awarded a one-place penalty after being deemed to have run Xavi Vierge off the track during their final lap battle at Phillip Island.
Danilo Petrucci, Barni Ducati WorldSBK Phillip Island 2023
Danilo Petrucci, Barni Ducati WorldSBK Phillip Island 2023

Petrucci finished the opening WorldSBK race of the season in seventh before being demoted to eighth following their contact on the exit of turn ten.

After attempting to go down the inside of Vierge, Petrucci made contact with the Honda rider as they headed towards turn 11. 

However, the contact was enough to see Vierge momentarily pushed onto the grass, before the Spaniard came back onto the circuit and hit Petrucci.

And although the second contact could have resulted in a crash, Petrucci was the rider awarded a penalty due to his initial overtake.  

Speaking about the incident, Petrucci admitted he was too aggressive: "He entered at the last braking point. I tried to go inside but he closed the door and we touched twice. 

"I was aggressive and didn’t give him space, but I didn’t think he would come back the first time. Luckily no one crashed. I don’t contest the stewards’ decision."

Aside from the last-lap incident, Petrucci rode an impressive first race which took part in wet conditions.

Aboard his Ducati for the first time in such conditions, Petrucci was left pleased with his performance as he challenged Iker Lecuona and Scott Redding at different stages.

"It’s been a good day and I can be pleased to have finished the first race, considering the conditions," added Petrucci. 

"This was the first time I was riding with these tyres in the wet and we had no references for the setup, but the team did really well to provide me with a bike that allowed me to easily stay inside the top 10. 

"We all want more of course, but we were nevertheless the best of the rookies and that’s enough for race 1. But we won’t be settling and want to be further forward already tomorrow."

Read More