“On the straight I lose three tenths from the other KTMs!”

The new adventure in KTM started with a decided uphill climb for Danilo Petrucci. The Qatar GP lasted just a few hundred meters and ended in the gravel of Turn 2, following a contact with Alex Marquez. In the Doha GP at least the newcomer to Tech 3 managed to see the checkered flag, but 19th place is certainly not the result he was aiming for.

Above all because during the weekend he had started to have positive indications, missing direct access to Q2 for just 55 thousandths, despite his size is proving to be a big problem in adapting to the Austrian bike. The RC16 is very compact and has tapered aerodynamics, therefore, even if a slightly larger hull has been approved specifically for him, this was not enough to reduce the large gap that currently pays on the straight, not only with the competition, but also with the other KTMs.

In the race, on a track with a long straight like that of Losail, he found himself being overtaken several times without the possibility of replication. And to complicate everything there was also a contact with Takaaki Nakagami’s Honda, in which its aerodynamics were damaged.

“Taka was slower than me on the whole track, except the straight. I passed him, but then when we got to the straight he passed me over and over again. Then at some point he closed the corner and broke my wing. I knew. that could have been a difficult race, but I didn’t think so much, “said Petrucci.

“Everyone passes me on the straight because I am too slow, and this is a problem. I lose three tenths of a second compared to the other KTMs on the main straight. This means that even if I am faster than the one in front of me, I lose a lot of meters in acceleration and then I am forced to force braking to get closer. But for me it is impossible to overtake, “he added.

There was then a second problem, because even in terms of set-up it had to go down unexplored roads for the Austrian manufacturer, being much more “cumbersome” than its brand mates. If on short runs he seemed to have found a good compromise, at the distance he found himself overheating the tires and this is also a big problem.

“In free practice it seemed that we had found some positive indications, but in the race it was impossible to stay with the best, because in the first laps everyone overtook me in acceleration. In braking the feeling was good, but this led me to enter corners with too much speed, so the tires overheated from the third lap “.

“Probably, due to my size, we have made a set up too extreme for the KTM. Unfortunately the RC16 is very small for me: I have seen some photos and it almost seems that I am a Moto3 (laughs). I also struggle to stay in the wake and this is a big problem in the race, especially if there is a long straight like the one in Losail “, he concluded.

Danilo Petrucci, KTM Tech3

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Danilo Petrucci, KTM Tech3

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