Ducati MotoGP team's nerves over Danilo Petrucci have been eased

Ducati's sporting director Paolo Ciabatti says the team's early worries over Danilo Petrucci have now been eased, as it nears decision time for its 2020 MotoGP line-up

Ducati MotoGP team's nerves over Danilo Petrucci have been eased

Unlike team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, works team newcomer Petrucci has a contract that runs out at the end of the year.

His former Pramac Ducati team-mate Jack Miller is vying for his ride at the top team.

Petrucci was in danger of being overshadowed by fellow GP19 rider Miller over the first rounds of the 2019 season, but bounced back at Le Mans to pick up his first podium as a works Ducati rider - finishing a close third behind Dovizioso.

"Danilo's podium was very important," Ciabatti told Autosport.

"He did exactly what Ducati is asking of him, which is to run in front without doing anything crazy.

"Everybody got nervous after the first three races, but now he's showing his progress.

"Danilo is under the same pressure as Miller because both have a one-year contract and are competing for the same goal.

"One wants a promotion, the second wants a renewal. We'll have to see how the next two rounds go [at Mugello and Barcelona], then we'll discuss the situation and take a decision."

Dovizioso, who has emerged as Ducati's benchmark rider in the last few years, had a fractious relationship with his previous team-mate Jorge Lorenzo - but the current line-up is presenting no such issues.

"We want to have a balanced team in which the team-mate is not the main rival," Ciabatti said.

"We are pleased with our two MotoGP riders and, besides that, we really like the relationship and the synergy existing between Andrea and Danilo.

"All these things help to have a very positive atmosphere."

Contributing to this harmony is the fact Petrucci relocated close to Dovizioso's hometown Forli in the off-season, and has been working closely with his team-mate.

"For sure I have a lot of respect for Andrea, especially because as many know I moved my house in his hometown, he helps me a lot but not only in the training, in every part of life," Petrucci explained to the official MotoGP website at Le Mans.

"For example we had dinner together because I was alone and I don't know anyone in Forli."

Petrucci also said that he benefited from Dovizioso's advice amid the middling start to his 2019 season.

"Always people like a lot to criticise me. I just don't listen, I don't care, for this part I have to say a big thanks to Andrea," Petrucci added.

"After Austin [in April] he talked to me and said to not care, to push on your weak point, to find the way to enjoy what you are doing, and this helped me a lot."

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