The Mission Winnow Ducati team resumed action today at Jerez (Spain), home of the fourth round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship. In Friday's free-practice sessions, characterized by clear skies and high temperatures (with about 25 degrees in the air and 45 degrees on the tarmac), Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso enjoyed a positive start to their weekend as they began to work on the setup of the Desmosedici GP 19 ahead of Sunday's race, posting the first and third time respectively in the combined rankings.
Eighth in the morning but already showing a promising pace, Petrucci took about six tenths of a second off his best time during FP2, where he was the only rider capable of lapping below the 1:38 mark, posting the fastest time of the day with a 1:37.909. After finishing FP1 only two tenths of a second behind the provisional best time, Dovizioso then further improved his lap times in the afternoon session to finish only 97 thousandths of a second behind his teammate with a personal best of 1:38.006, which granted him third position in the combined rankings.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1st (1:37.909)
"I'm happy with how this first day of practice went. I didn't do a perfect lap, but it was enough to finish on top, and I was quite competitive especially in terms of pace. We made very few changes on the bike, finding a good rhythm also with the hard rear tyre, but FP4 tomorrow will be crucial to finalize the choice of the compounds for the race. Qualifying has been my weak point so far this year, so we'll keep our guard up. I think tomorrow morning the lap times will drop further, but in the meantime we started off on the right foot. Our goal is to qualify on the first couple of rows on the grid, then to challenge for the podium on Sunday."
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 3rd (1:38.006)
"It's been a positive opening day, especially in terms of the pace we managed to keep with used tyres and high temperatures, not simply in terms of our overall position. We managed to improve the feeling with the bike as the day went on, and we're among the frontrunners in terms of rhythm, but I still think Márquez has a small advantage. The standings may not show the whole picture, and anyway track conditions are supposed to further improve in FP3, so we'll need to keep pushing to gain direct access to Q2 because I expect very narrow gaps. We have some room for improvement in the long, fast corners, where the wind also comes into play, and we're still trying to find the limit with the new tarmac, as grip levels may change come race time. We need to stay focused."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow for the third free-practice session with qualifying scheduled, after FP4, at 14:10 local time (CET).