Following a mixed round in terms of results at Phillip Island, the WorldSBK rookie knows that round two of the season could be a big challenge after never completing a lap of the Indonesian circuit before.

After being demoted one position soon after Race 1 finished due to initiating contact with Xavi Vierge - an incident which led to the Ducati rider finishing eighth - Petrucci rounded out his first weekend as a Superbike rider with 11th and ninth. 

A circuit that brings its fair amount of challenges due to hot temperatures and unpredictable weather, Petrucci said this about Mandalika: "On paper this is one of the most complicated races for me: it's one of the circuits I've never raced on, but also the asphalt and the weather are two big unknowns. 

"There are few races here and even if the asphalt was resurfaced last year there was no grip; it is very hot and it can rain at any moment so I don't really know what to expect. It will be important to stay calm and work patiently because there will be a lot to do."

Bautista expects WorldSBK competition to be intense in Mandalika

Another Ducati rider, and one who is in the form of his life, Alvaro Bautista will be aiming to keep hold of his 100% win record in 2023 at a circuit that he failed to win at last season.

Despite that, Bautista has great memories of the Indonesian circuit as it’s the venue that saw him clinch the 2022 WorldSBK title.

Bautista: "We were celebrating as Champion here but now we are in a new season. I have good memories here and also after last weekend at Phillip Island. 

"Last year, we struggled a bit here, so maybe we have many things to think about. With the weather here, it’s unpredictable, so you have to adapt a plan depending on the track condition. 

"The biggest problem was on the front as Pirelli didn’t bring the tyre, I had used for most of last season. This year, they have brought it, so I’m looking to forward to see if the problem I have felt has gone. 

"With what we saw at Phillip Island, I don’t think it is 100% true, as we had tests before the round, so many riders had a good setup and it’s a very particular track. 

"This season, the rest of the riders are closing the gap and when you have a bad day, you have more riders in between. What is sure is that here last year, Toprak went fast, and Jonathan was really competitive, so I expect them to fight for the victory in all three races."

Michael Van Der Mark promises a more competitive showing from BMW

Although BMW were slowest of the five manufacturers at Phillip Island, which was also the case during last year’s season-opener in Aragon, Van Der Mark doesn’t believe the lack of performance shown will be a constant theme going forward.

It’s clear that BMW needs to make big improvements as they continue to find themselves lacking when it comes to fighting at the front, but Van Der Mark claims they are ‘not far away’.

Van Der Mark said: "They weren’t the results we were hoping for but if we look back on my weekend, it wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t that far away from the fight for fourth place but unfortunately the pace dropped a lot at the end of the race. 

"It’s not where we want to be but from my side, I think it was quite positive. We’re not that far away and I feel like we improved the package, but in general we need more corner speed and drive grip. 

"It’s not easy but this weekend we have Mandalika, where it’s a different kind of a track and I’m curious to see how the bike works here. It’s always nice to be in Indonesia! 

"My grandmother is from Indonesia, so I really enjoy this country and the people are really friendly. I’m confident but I have to stay calm; our bike works well in the wet but I’m looking forward to it, and I think in the dry, we’ll be more competitive than Phillip Island."