Petrucci faced one of the toughest challenges of his career at Imola
Danilo Petrucci won’t soon forget his return to Imola. The seventh meeting of the 2023 season was one of the biggest challenges of his career.
Danilo Petrucci has fond memories of Imola. When he last raced there at the Superstock 1000 in 2011, he not only came from second place to win a Ducati 1098R, but he also did it in nice weather (23 degrees on Sept. 25).
Although the riders were used to the heat, everyone agreed Imola was extreme.
“It was one of the most important things I’ve ever experienced ─ after a sauna” ─ he laughed Petrucci.
The weekend was also different from a sporting point of view than in 2011: the 32-year-old competitor, still euphoric from his first podium at Donington Park, only got tenth place in his home race, and his best place was in the first race, which was sixth.
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“It was one of the toughest races of my career. It was very hot and there was very little traction on the track. As long as I could brake hard, I continued with Rinaldi, but then I had problems with the front of the bike because of the heat and had to slow down. Still, I ended up ranked as the best privateer rider, which is always a great result.”
Sunday was hotter and the results were slightly worse.
“There were two very difficult races that day. Already in Superpole I had no grip and I couldn’t set good times in both races. I was confident I could have a solid race like I did on Saturday, but I really struggled to stay on the bike. It was a disappointing day.”