MotoGP Gossip: Last two seasons spent with ‘wrong team, wrong time’ - Petrucci

In today’s MotoGP gossip column, Danilo Petrucci admits the last two years of his MotoGP career were spent in the ‘wrong team’, while Jorge Lorenzo claims he would have stayed with Honda beyond 2019 had it not been for his Assen crash.
Danilo Petrucci, Valencia MotoGP, race 14 November 2021
Danilo Petrucci, Valencia MotoGP, race 14 November 2021
© Gold and Goose

Former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci believes his last two seasons in the premier class were spent with the wrong team at the wrong time. 

Petrucci, who is currently exceeding expectations at the Dakar Rally after he became the first former MotoGP rider to win a stage, spent his last two Grand Prix years with Ducati and KTM.

The Italian’s last MotoGP win came in 2020 after dominating a wet race in Le Mans, however, Petrucci struggled outside of that result as he managed just seven top ten results in 14 races.

His number of top ten finishes then decreased from seven to just three in 2021 as KTM seemed to take a step back. 

But given the RC16 was one of the better packages to be on in 2020 and Ducati won the most races in 2021, Petrucci was with the right manufacturers but at the ‘wrong time’. 

Ducati took a huge step-forward in 2021 as Francesco Bagnaia, Jack Miller and Jorge Martin were arguably the three most in-form riders to end the year. In particular Bagnaia who won four of the last six races, while also claiming five consecutive pole positions from Aragon to Portimao.

"Somehow I can't get rid of the feeling that I was in the wrong team at Ducati and KTM over the past two years, “ Petrucci told

"I have made a mistake. When I look back, I should have done it differently. In 2020 the Ducati wasn't particularly competitive, at least not for me, but in 2021 they won most of the races. 

“In 2020 the opposite may have been the case. KTM was pretty much the best motorcycle in the field in 2020, but unfortunately that was no longer the case in 2021. So I was in the wrong place for two years.” []

Three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo is adamant that had he not suffered a Free Practice crash in Assen that left him with two broken vertebrae, then he would have likely continued beyond 2019 with Honda. 

Lorenzo said: Without a doubt, without that incident I would have stayed with Honda. After Assen retirement became a possibility, but I didn’t want to rush it and I delayed it for as long as possible.” []

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