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Danilo Petrucci celebrates after “big” fights

Danilo Petrucci celebrates after “big” fights

( – Danilo Petrucci was shining at the end of the Superbike World Championship season opener in Australia. In the second race, the Italian beat his teammate and former MotoGP colleague Andrea Iannone to finish third.

In his usual manner, Danilo Petrucci finished his emotional stage

“It was unbelievable to be on the podium. It was a great race with big fights. It was tough,” laughs Petrucci, who rides a Ducati Panigale V4R for Team Barney. In Saturday's race, a problem during a pit stop cost him a lot of time.

That's why he lost contact with the leading group in Race 1 and eventually finished eighth. There was no sign of Petrucci in the Super Bowl race. He only crossed the finish line in 15th place.

“I'm not very comfortable on the motorcycle,” was his explanation for Sunday morning's poor performance. “That's why I was a little nervous before the second race.” But then Petrucci was in the top 10 from the start.

Finally, Race 2 was stopped as Yamaha rider Jonathan Rea crashed. “I was behind Johnny and his crash was huge,” Petrucci says. Riya was able to clarify everything. He did not sustain any serious injuries.

The restart took place over eleven laps. Petrucci rejoined the big front group. “I told myself I have to try to be the best privateer driver, I have to be patient. I tried to overtake Iannone, then I overtook Rinaldi.”

The result came on the last lap of the Miller hairpin (4th turn). In a three-way battle for victory, Andrea Locatelli flew off his Yamaha. Minutes later, Petrucci passed Iannone's CoEleven Ducati.

“Andrea as I sat down next to Ianone [Locatelli] The rear wheel slipped and he fell down. Then I said to myself: 'You are on the stage, Danilo come! There's only half a lap to go.''

The former MotoGP rider is in his second Superbike season

“I've always had bad luck at Phillip Island. I love Australia and this circuit, but for various reasons I never leave this place with a smile,” says Petrucci. “Now I'm very happy.”

In MotoGP, ninth place was his best finish at Phillip Island. Last year he finished eighth, eleventh and ninth in his Superbike debut. Petrucci has now collected 24 World Championship points and starts his sixth season in the World Championship.

“The weekend was good. But this year you can get 15th and third. That's what happened to me on Sunday. Twelve to 15 riders can get on the podium. That's good for the championship because it's exciting “but it's very good for us drivers, it's hard.”

After the traditional season opener in Australia at the end of February, the Superbike World Championship takes a short break. The races don't resume until the end of March in Barcelona. There are two more days of testing before that.

“Barcelona was very difficult last year. Tire wear is always very important there,” says Petrucci. “During the tests we will try to work with the tire. I really like the track. I have a year of experience now and I think we can always fight for the top 5.”