The Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati boys were having their own battle as well as that on track and in the championship. Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding were both hoping to receive the Ducati Desmosedici GP 17 for the 2017, and as the 2016 drew to a close at the Gran Premio Motul de la Communitant Valenciana, is was confirmed that Petrucci will receive the bike.
Petruccis top two in Qualifying 1 so progressed to Q2
As making it into the top two during Qualifying 1, Petrucci was able to progress to Qualifying 2 where he ended up securing 12th on the grid. Redding was fourth quickest during the first Qualifying session, and had to start from 14th on the grid.
Teammates struggled throughout the race
The two commenced in battles on track as they worked to get into and remain in the top 10. Originally Petrucci dropped down to 16th by the end of lap one, and then worked over the next few laps to make his way back up to 11th. He then began his pursuit of Alvaro Bautista on the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, but the determined Spanish rider was adamant to finish in the top 10 for the last time with the developing bike as he is moving to Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati next season.
Redding on the other hand got a good start and found himself in 12th on track, however he made a mistake during the race that led to him losing three positions in the race which he struggled to overcome as he could not find a comfortable feeling with the Ducati. After losing a place to Hector Barbera (Avintia Ducati), Petrucci finished the 2016 season in 12th taking four points from the season finale, and Redding finished 14th taking two.
Petrucci 14th overall, one point ahead of Redding in 15th
It meant that in the final championship standings Petrucci finished in 14th with 75 points, bypassing his teammate Redding who finished the 2016 season in 15th with 74 points; just a one point difference, not bad for his first season with Ducati. Taking into account their best results from the season (one is discounted), Petrucci has been awarded the Desmosedici GP 17; the Italian had lost several rounds at the start of the season because of his hand injury sustained in Qatar testing.
Petrucci looking forward to getting on new Ducati
Petrucci admitted to doing “a few mistakes in the first lap”, he explained how they “forced” him to go on and “push harder to recover positions”. He found that “in the last seven laps” he could not “stay with Bautista and Barbera to fight for the top 10”, and that he “preferred not to risk” and instead set out to “bring home some points”.
He mentioned that the 2016 Valencia GP is “not a race [he] will remember” and he focused his attention to the future saying, “Now I just want to think about the new bike”. He knows he will have to “commit and work hard to stay ahead next season”.
Great first season with Ducati for Redding
Talking about the season finale, Redding said he “had so many difficulties”. He described how during the warm-up ahead of the race he “felt the front closing twice and [he] nearly crashed”. He knew it “was not a problem with the bike” but confirmed it was “a lack of feeling between [him] and the bike”.
However, “early in the race” he spoke of how he “felt pretty good”, but then he found that “as the rear tyre started to lose grip on left corners” he then ended finding it “really tough”. Overall though, he said he was “satisfied with [his] season” as he feels he has “shown [he] can make important results” and now looking ahead he said, “I want to improve”.