Petrucci attacks Lowes - ‘I don’t understand his behaviour, completely hit Baz’

Danilo Petrucci has launched a scathing attack towards Alex Lowes after claiming the two-time WorldSBK race winner ruined his and Loris Baz’ Superpole Race in Mandalika.
Danilo Petrucci, Barni Ducati WorldSBK Mandalika 2023
Danilo Petrucci, Barni Ducati WorldSBK Mandalika 2023

A dramatic start to Sunday's second WorldSBK race day in Mandalika saw Petrucci, Lowes and Baz involved in a collision that resulted in Lowes and Baz crashing, while Petrucci managed to remain aboard his Panigale V4 R.

All three riders managed to complete the race following a red flag one lap later which allowed each rider to return to pit lane and restart the 8-lap sprint. 

Petrucci, who behind Baz heading into turn two but just ahead of Lowes, recieved a touch on the rear of his machine before both men couldn't avoid the BMW rider in front. 

In the aftermath Petrucci launched a fiery attack the way of Lowes: "The only thing is the Superpole Race. It’s just like going bumper cars [racing] and for me, I don’t understand the behaviour of Alex Lowes and also the race direction,” said Petrucci. “When you hit some riders you ruin the race for Baz, and also for me. Then they give a red flag but if they didn’t give a red flag Baz was on the ground and I was in the gravel. 

"Then in the restart he completely hit Baz and he broke his leg and no penalisation. In Phillip Island he crashed with Toprak and no penalisation. I don’t understand. I touched Vierge and I dropped one position.

"In the sprint race, I was in front and from the images - also race direction said he lost [control of] the bike and he hit me in the back. He destroyed my axle’s. I was in front but it’s not acceptable that you justify a mistake. 

"It’s a rider mistake. It’s okay that it’s the first lap but you ruin the race for two other riders. I spoke with race direction because I think the judgment was not fair. It’s not consistent. For sure a rider can do a mistake but if in life you make a mistake, you pay a penalty. 

"It’s not that they gave you the price because you finished third. Sincerely, when I asked them if it’s normal that you hit a rider and break their leg, [they say] ‘ah no, Baz put out the leg, every rider puts out the leg’. I’ve never seen something like that. 

"This is just my opinion. But as [Jack] Miller once said to [Jorge] Lorenzo, it’s like the asshole, everyone has one. It’s something that for me is not correct. Also, for other riders it’s like bumper cars. 

"They just try to stay in front of you, then you get out of the track and two riders pass you just because you want to stay in front. I think it’s completely a mess. I don’t think it’s the safest option to race in 10 laps with these bikes." 

Petrucci ‘scared’ by Superpole Race antics

Dominique Aegerter and Danilo Petrucci touch Superpole race, Indonesian WorldSBK, 5 March
Dominique Aegerter and Danilo Petrucci touch Superpole race, Indonesian…

As a result of the collision, Petrucci suffered damage to his winglets which was also the case in Phillip Island over a week ago. 

Finding the racing a bit too aggressive and and of control, Petrucci said this about the current format: "I’m quite scared about the Superpole Race because every time I finish [without] my winglets. 

"In Phillip Island I had no winglets from lap one, today was like this, Race 2 the same. For sure, it’s nice for the people but the only rider that has been penalised has been me against Vierge."

While Petrucci spoke at length about the collision with Lowes and Baz, the Barni Ducati rider also spoke about the improvements made with understanding Pirelli’s tyres, after he finished top independent rider for the second time this season. 

Petrucci added: "Yeah, really, really happy. I didn’t expect to be so fast, especially with the lap times. Race 2 of Race 2, because we had four starts today, was okay and I didn’t change the tyres like everybody else. 

"I was feeling confident and I’m really happy for the team that we were back in parc ferme. I’m satisfied but not really happy because our target is to stand on the podium. 

"I think we have the potential but still we have to understand the tyres. Today I started to understand and I’m happy about the performance of the tyre. At the end we managed to be strong all the race."

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