While Petrucci was unable to make a significant impact on his return to MotoGP, the Italian was nonetheless one of the best options Ducati could have gone for.

A two-time MotoGP race winner, Dakar stage winner and a title contender last season in MotoAmerica, Petrucci’s experience and ability to adapt to different machinery, was a clear reason for Ducati wanting to bring the former factory rider back into the fold as Bastianini continues to recover from his shoulder injury he suffered at the season-opener in Portimao.

Petrucci, who is currently riding for the Barni Ducati team in WorldSBK, has so far been competitive without flashing huge potential on WorldSBK machinery.

However, that’s not to say the Italian won’t make big strides forward as the year develops.

But after claiming points during the Grand Prix at Le Mans, and being aboard a machine he’s called ‘the best bike I have ever ridden’, it’s no surprise that the 32-year-old will miss MotoGP.

Speaking after the race, Petrucci told WorldSBK.com: "I’m really proud. It was like a big gift that I received from Ducati. Proud to be here with the factory Ducati, maybe the best bike I have ever ridden in my life! 

"I’m just sad it’s already Sunday and we’ve already had the Sprint and the race. I would like to ride this bike many more times. 

"The race was quite difficult because the track was not really grippy today, but I enjoyed it, I scored some points, I improved my pace lap by lap. 

"I want to say thanks to the fans. I have been on the podium three times here, won once, and the French crowd has been so nice with me. 

"Also, the MotoGP paddock is really nice with me. Many thanks to Ducati for this big opportunity, I will remember it for the rest of my life."

Next up for Petrucci, who missed the recent WorldSBK test at Misano to focus on his MotoGP return, is his home round at the same circuit next month.