The Mission Winnow Ducati team resumed action today at Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina) for the second round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship. In Friday's free-practice – characterized by extremely narrow gaps, with 21 riders within less than a second – Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci initially focused on the race setup and then went on the attack in the final stages of the second and last session.
Dovizioso made the most of the soft rear tyre to post a 1:39.181, about 1.5 seconds faster than his previous best in FP1, to claim the top of the time sheets, further confirming the competitiviness already shown in Qatar. Petrucci faced a slightly more difficult task after suffering an innocuous crash that nonetheless limited his time on track in FP1, finishing the opening day in 13th position with a personal best of 1:39.740, about five tenths of a second behind his teammate.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:39.181 (1st)
"I'm very happy, especially because we struggled quite a bit here in recent years and today, on the other hand, we found a good feeling with the bike right away. We are all extremely close so the lap time itself isn't too important, but I feel much better riding compared with last year here. I still don't know whether it'll be enough to fight for the podium, because there are many riders with a strong pace and this track is peculiar, especially in terms of grip, which is particularly low. Anyhow, we have an excellent base, we made some steps forward with the setup and I think we still have room for improvement."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:39.740 (13th)
"All in all, we're not far from the front, but it's been a bit more difficult than what we expected today. We started off based on the data from last year, but the track was really dirty in FP1 and the crash made me lose a bit of confidence and time. Still, we made a good step forward in FP2, even though a small mistake in the first flying-lap prevented me from making the most of the extra grip offered by the new tyre. Andrea has shown we can be really competitive here, we have room for improvement and some ideas to try, so I'm confident we'll bounce back tomorrow."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow (March 30th) at 10:50 local time (CET -4) for a third free-practice session, while qualifying will start at 15:05.