Danilo Petrucci: “I will be happy when I’m on the podium”

Despite an impressive opening two rounds to his WorldSBK career Danilo Petrucci is not entirely ‘happy’, something a maiden podium result will change.
Danilo Petrucci, Barni Ducati WorldSBK Phillip Island 2023
Danilo Petrucci, Barni Ducati WorldSBK Phillip Island 2023

Petrucci’s four top tens in six races, two of which have included finishing inside the top six, have led to him being top rookie at the moment.

Although he struggled during Friday practice in the sweltering conditions at Mandalika, the former MotoGP rider has adapted very quickly to the Superbike class overall, as he also sits just 15 points off Axel Bassani in the race for top Independent rider. 

What was his first-ever appearance at the Indonesian circuit, will now be followed up with a visit to the more familiar circuit of Assen for round three of the championship next month. 

However, before racing continues, Petrucci will be one of several riders taking part in a test at Barcelona before the end of the month.

Petrucci told WorldSBK.com: "We have some tests before Assen, at the end of March in Barcelona. Two days of testing. I think we will have already the new fuel tank which is a little bit lower. 

"At the moment, I’m still not 100% comfortable on the bike. My team and Ducati immediately provided something to let me be faster. At the moment, this is the main thing. 

Danilo Petrucci , Indonesian WorldSBK, 5 March
Danilo Petrucci , Indonesian WorldSBK, 5 March

"We have other small issues, small things to try. I think this is the most important thing to let me be comfortable on the bike. I can be faster with this tank."

While it remains to be seen how big a jump Petrucci can make with a new fuel tank, the aim is to be on the podium sooner rather than later, and only then will the Italian be fully satisfied.

Speaking at an event launch for the Misano WorldSBK round which takes place in June, Petrucci added: "It’s a really nice experience to come back to Misano in a World Championship. For me, it’ll be my first time with the WorldSBK machine. 

"I’m so eager to race this round because it’s something really special. I don’t have any particular expectations for this round. It’s just the expectations I have for the whole season. 

"I want to be on the podium. This is the target. At the moment, it’s difficult, but we are just at the beginning. 

"At the moment, I am not really happy at all but satisfied. I will be happy when I’m on the podium."

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