Danilo Petrucci wary of repeating Ducati's Argentina '16 clash in his battle with Dovizioso at Le Mans
Danilo Petrucci says he was "scared" of repeating Ducati's infamous 2016 Argentina clash between Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso in his battle with Dovizioso in the MotoGP French Grand Prix.
Current Aprilia man Iannone wiped Dovizioso out at the penultimate corner on the last lap of the 2016 race in Argentina while the pair were running second and third, which ultimately led to Iannone losing his Ducati seat to Jorge Lorenzo for the following season.
Petrucci recovered from two errors on the opening lap which dropped him to sixth to fight with Dovizioso in the closing stages for second, but just missed despite several attempts.
He says he “gave his all” to try to beat his team-mate, and has “nothing to regret” in ultimately finishing third.
Commenting on his battles at Le Mans, Petrucci said: “[There's] always pressure when you try to pass Marc [Marquez], you know Marc will try again to pass you and he did a good job to pass me on the outside [of Turn 6].
“I was a little bits scared because I saw many crashes in Moto2 and Moto3. With Andrea, I gave it my all but I didn't want to repeat [the] Argentina [collision] of some years ago.
“So I said 'OK, I try where I can be sure [of safely passing]', but as I said I made two big mistakes, so I had to recover a lot of time.
“In the middle of the race I was very far, and at the end I was happy about my pace.
“But for sure I have nothing to regret, very very clean battle with Marc, with Jack [Miller], with Andrea. I'm very happy to have this feeling.”
When asked if his maiden 2019 podium was a weight off his shoulders, he said it was not, as he has always been under pressure since receiving machine parity with the works riders in 2017.
He also claims his podium was a result of working closely with his team-mate over the winter, and the encouraging words he offered following a difficult Austin race, in which he was sixth.
“Since 2017, people have given me pressure because of the situation two years ago with [Jorge] Lorenzo [and his struggles to adapt to the Ducati]; last year was the same,” he added.
“I have always a lot of pressure, I've won nothing at the moment. So I don't imagine [I will have this pressure] if I win something one day, but always people like a lot to criticise me.
“But I just don't listen and I just don't care. For this part I have to say a big thanks to Andrea.
“After Austin he talked to me and says to me to not care [about my critics], push to fix your weak points and find a way to enjoy what your are doing.
“After Austin this helps me a lot. This podium is part of a big work we did with Andrea over the winter until now.”