Danilo Petrucci, a former MotoGP rider, has given the clearest indication yet that he will join Ducati in MotoAmerica, following his outstanding achievements at the Dakar.
Danilo Petrucci has all-but sealed a transition to MotoAmerica in 2022, after becoming the first rider to win both MotoGP and the Dakar Rally.
The Dakar stage five winner, who hinted at such a move while the 2022 Rally was in progress, has now confirmed that a return to Ducati is in the cards.
Petrucci won two MotoGP races with Ducati in 2019 and 2020 before transferring to Tech 3 KTM for his final season in grand prix racing.
After winning two races with Miguel Oliveira in 2020, the Herve Poncharal-led team only scored one top five finish with both riders Petrucci and Iker Lecuona at Le Mans.
The fifth place finish was the first of three top ten finishes for Petrucci, who finished 21st in the championship, his worst placing since joining MotoGP in 2012.
Despite this, Petrucci will ride for the factory-backed Dark Horse HSBK team aboard a Ducati Panigale V4 R in 2021, the same squad for whom another former MotoGP rider Loris Baz participated.
“I’m happy because Ducati contacted me,” Petrucci said of his plan to race in MotoAmerica, despite the fact that an official announcement has yet to be made. They did everything to get me. It’s very satisfying.
“When I left the MotoGP Ducati factory team, I remained on good terms with Claudio Domenicali, Gigi Dall’Igna, Paolo Ciabatti, and Davide Tardozzi. They pushed to have me in MotoAmerica. It’s a satisfaction.”
Part of the Italian’s decision to join MotoAmerica was his desire to race in the United States, a place he’s ‘always been in love with’.
Petrucci continued: “It’s a life experience, I have the opportunity to live abroad and ride motorbikes, which is the thing I love most. I have always been in love with the United States. I love the lifestyle over there, the open spaces.”
Petrucci will make his WorldSBK debut at next month’s official test before joining Ducati in MotoAmerica (February 8-9).
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