Sepang pace 'not enough' for victory – Danilo Petrucci

Danilo Petrucci says Ducati's pace during a long run in Thursday's Sepang MotoGP test is “not enough” to take it to victory at the circuit, but conceded it was an improvement its 2018 race pace.

Last season's Malaysian Grand Prix proved to be one of Ducati's low points of the campaign, with back-to-back Sepang winner Andrea Dovizioso only sixth and Petrucci ninth on the Pramac-run works bike.

Both riders completed a race run together during Thursday's session on their way to fourth and ninth on the timesheets. 

Petrucci, who was the slower of the two, says Ducati “understood many things” from the “important” race simulation, but concedes its pace would still not be enough to challenge for victory at the same circuit. 

“Was very important, because we understood many things and I'm happy,” Petrucci said of his long run. 

“Especially the second part, I was in front [of Dovizioso] and with used tyres, and we finish with very good laptimes. 

“Maybe not enough to win the race, I don't know for the podium, but for sure better than last year, and better than yesterday because we struggled a lot during the middle part of the day when the temperature is really really hot. 

“But I think for both of us, it was very important and useful because maybe we introduced a different way of working like team-mates. 

“I'm happy about today, this morning we didn't use any tyres for time attack. So tomorrow maybe we are a little bit faster, but we have been focused on two long runs.”

Commenting on following Dovizioso during their race run, Petrucci says he was able to “understand” how better to use the bike, and felt his team-mate discovered more about the weaknesses of the GP19 while riding behind him. 

“I think in this moment I can learn much more than him, following him,” he added.

“Was important for me to understand the lines, understand the way to use the bike. 

“And for him, the second part [of the run] when I was in front, it was useful for the tyre temperature for see the bike from the rear, to see what are the weak points of the bike."