Prepare for an all-Italian experience as the Ducati MotoGP team signs Danilo Petrucci for 2019. The 27-year-old from Terni will partner current rider Andrea Dovizioso, who recently confirmed he’ll be with the team until 2020.
The news came as the departing Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo was revealed as a Honda rider for next season. Ironically, the Spanish triple MotoGP champion took his first win for the Ducati team in two years at the Italian round at Mugello as the team moves were announced, with Dovizioso finishing second.
Danilo Petrucci has been in MotoGP since 2012, and has raced on a Ducati for the Pramac Racing team for the last four years. He’s currently sixth in the championship after finishing second at the French round. His highest position at the end of the season has been eighth, which he achieved in 2017.
Petrucci started out on mini bikes from the age of 8 and had some success in the Yamaha R6 Cup in 2007 and the Superstock 1000 Cup in 2011, finishing as runner-up both times. His start in MotoGP came with the IodaRacing team who competed under the CRT rules which lastest for a couple of seasons as saw them field their own chassic with an Aprilia RSV4 engine before switching to a Suter chassis and BMW engines. Petrucci and the team spent one year on Aprilia machinery before the Italian joined Pramac in 2015, replacing Andrea Iannone who had moved up to the official Ducati squad. In his first year with Pramac, Petrucci finished second at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone behind future Ducati rider Valentino Rossi, and ahead of his now-team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso.
“It goes without saying that for me, being part of the factory team is a dream come true,” said Danilo 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 Paolo Campinoti and 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 – Claudio Domenicali, Gigi Dall’Igna and 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.”
Claudio Domenicali, Ducati Motor Holding CEO, added: “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. 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.”