Petrucci takes second factory Ducati seat

Danilo Petrucci pic:

Danilo Petrucci has been officially named as the man to take over the factory Ducati ride vacated by Jorge Lorenzo.

Petrucci will shift from Ducati satellite team Pramac having signed a one-year deal to ride for the Bologna marque’s works team.

The domino effect in this MotoGP silly season gathered pace when Honda Racing Corporation confirmed a day ago that Dani Pedrosa is headed for the exit door.

Earlier today it announced that current Ducati Team rider and three-time world champion with Yamaha, Jorge Lorenzo, would replace Pedrosa at Repsol Honda.

Petrucci is currently enjoying arguably his best form since joining Pramac Ducati in 2015.

With the 63 points to his name in 2018, the Italian has amassed just over half his previous best season tally (124, last year) despite just under a third of the campaign having elapsed.

He has twice qualified on the front row on his current-spec Desmosedici GP18 and finished on the podium one, at Le Mans.

“It goes without saying that for me, being part of the factory team is a dream come true,” said Petrucci.

“It’s a great honour to become an official rider for the Ducati Team, especially for someone like me who started in Ducati as a production motorcycle test rider.

“First of all I would like to thank (Pramac CEO) Paolo Campinoti and (Team Manager) Francesco Guidotti, who gave me the chance four years ago to race on a Ducati for the Pramac Racing Team. Without them all this would not have been possible.

“I also want to thank the managers of Ducati and Ducati Corse – (CEO) Claudio Domenicali, (General Manager) Gigi Dall’Igna and (Sporting Director) Paolo Ciabatti – who appreciated me first as a person and then as a rider and I really can’t wait to start this new adventure in the factory team.

“Now all I want to do is to finish the year in the top five in the standings and then start the new season with the Ducati Team.”

Domenicali acknowledged his outgoing rider before welcoming Petrucci to the factory team.

“First of all I’d like to thank Jorge Lorenzo for all the efforts and commitment that he has made during his time as a Ducati rider and in particular for his outstanding victory last Sunday at Mugello, which will go down in history as one of our company’s legendary racing achievements,” he said.

“Jorge is a great champion, capable of incredible feats, and even though it is sad that he took such a long time to find the right feeling with our bike, we will continue to do everything possible to put him in a position to achieve further victories in the remaining rounds of the season and fight for the world title together with his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

“I wish to give a warm welcome to Danilo, whom we look forward to seeing in Ducati Team colours next year, together with Andrea, and who we feel sure will continue his rapid rise to success.”

Petrucci’s confirmation at the Ducati Team means that Jack Miller is increasingly likely to stay at Pramac, where he would be handed a current-spec bike (GP19) next year instead of a year-old version (currently GP17).

Miller would race alongside Francesco Bagnaia, while Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso make for an all-Italian duo at the factory outfit.

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