Pramac Ducati baffled by problem that cost Petrucci Australia lead

Danilo Petrucci says his Pramac Ducati MotoGP team still cannot understand the clutch failure that caused him to run off-track just after he took the Australian Grand Prix lead

Pramac Ducati baffled by problem that cost Petrucci Australia lead

Petrucci led into the first turn from eighth on the Phillip Island grid after a spectacular start, but went off-track one corner later.

He revealed the mistake was a result of "a small issue" with the clutch.

The Italian fell to last place, and could only recover to 12th while riding without engine braking for the rest of the race.

"It was a problem they don't understand, why the clutch remains blocked after the start and then in the first lap," said Petrucci.

"For sure it was a missed opportunity after my best career start from eighth to first.

"I was able at least to stay up to recover my bike. I had no clutch for the first lap and I had the chance to think if I should stop or not.

"Then I don't know what happened after the second lap because I had no clutch under braking, it was going fully open.

"This means that every gearshift I felt the clutch was sliding. I had no torque on braking so I had no engine brake for all the race.

"In Phillip Island it's not a big problem because it doesn't have a lot of heavy braking areas.

"In Misano for example I had a similar problem and the race was a disaster, but in Phillip Island it was good."

Petrucci added that he could not be too upset with the problem because there have been other times when he was the one making mistakes.

"Twelfth position is nothing to be happy about but anyway in Japan I made a mistake in qualifying and in practice and making a gamble with the set-up," he said.

"I can't be upset with the bike. Sometimes I make mistakes, a few times the bike has some problems.

"It's very heavy to lose some points, but I said, 'OK, I am riding a MotoGP [bike] in Phillip Island, I will try to do my best and see if the bike is going to be definitely broken or stay together'.

"I said, 'OK, I can have 45 minutes free running because I don't have to care about [saving] the tyre or fuel. I will try to score at least some points'.

"On the second lap I was 20 seconds behind the last guy and I simply enjoyed riding the bike in one of the most wonderful tracks in the calendar, and at least it worked because I showed good pace."

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Danilo Petrucci
Teams Ducati Team , Pramac Racing
Author Scherazade Mulia Saraswati
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