Danilo Petrucci is off to a good start for his MotoAmerica debut, achieving a rather impressive finish in the qualifiers for the event held on the Circuit of the Americas.
As a two-time MotoGP race and Dakar stage winner, Petrucci’s back on a Ducati for MotoAmerica Superbike. As for his return, Petrucci’s been the subject of quite a few interviews in the days prior to the weekend.
Petrucci seemed excited to saddle up once again a few days prior, but initially had doubts. According to an interview with Road Racing World, he “did not expect to be fast, at least in this race, because everything is new,” he stated.
He then followed up his statement by commenting on how warm his welcome was and he was quoted saying “it was absolutely nice to see the American riders and all the riders who are racing say, ‘if you need anything call me’ and ‘come here to my town and we will go training.’ I get messages from Ben Spies, from Toni Elias, from Jaosh Hayes, from Niel Hodgson, who was racing here some time ago.”
“It’s really nice, the approach. It’s maybe something I need after MotoGP, where everything is so precise with the schedule. Here, it feels like they have more fun racing. When you go racing it’s still racing, but I feel like there is less pressure, more fun, and more enjoy the riding. That’s what I want.” Petrucci stated in his Road Racing World interview.
In another interview, this time with Speedweek, Petrucci stated that he was excited to start the season, similar to how he felt back when he made his MotoGP debut back in 2012. It’s a similar scenario now for MotoAmerica.
Petrucci saddled up for qualifying in Austin, Texas, and according to the timesheets, his debut’s going quite swell. Finishing with an overall best time of two minutes and about eight and three-quarters of a second (2:08.788), Petrucci qualified with a third-place finish on his Warhorse HSBK Ducati NYC Panigale V4 R.
Finishing just behind Jack Gagne representing Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha, and Mathew Scholtz representing Wesby Racing. Petrucci will be starting on the grid in the third pole this weekend, giving him an opportune start to Race 1 on the Circuit of the Americas.