Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller unveil Pramac Ducati's 2018 MotoGP livery in the build-up to the season opener in Qatar.

Having won a late 2016 battle with team-mate Scott Redding for a third factory-spec Ducati in 2017, Petrucci took four podiums, four front row starts and came within 0.063 of winning at Assen.

The Italian was also a close runner-up at Misano, although the 'experimental' nature of his engine led to a string of technical issues, leaving him eighth in the world championship standings.

Petrucci returns knowing this year will be his last at Pramac, with Francesco Bagnaia already signed on the factory contract for 2019, but also that he has his best chance yet to win in MotoGP.

The former FIM Superstock 1000 champion will have a 2018 machine the same as Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo and intends to try and convince Ducati to take up its factory team option on his services by being faster than at least one of them.

Petrucci heads to this weekend's Qatar round having set a very impressive pace during a full 22-lap race simulation at the final test.

“I am very happy to race another year with Pramac Racing,” Petrucci said. “I am the rider who has raced the most with these colours and I’m proud of it. We have always done great things since I arrived in 2015.

“This will be the most important season. I have an official bike, I have great expectations and with a year more of experience I will try to do better than last season.”

New team-mate Jack Miller takes over Scott Redding's place on Pramac's year-old Ducati.

The Australian, winner of the wet 2016 Dutch TT for Marc VDS, has looked faster and more consistent since the switch from Honda and must feel confident of beating last year's best-yet eleventh in the championship standings.

“I am happy to be here. The countdown is now finally over,” Miller said. “This is the week of the first Grand Prix and I am excited and very motivated to start the season.

“We have made a very good job with the team so far, and I can’t wait to fly to Qatar and do my best. I have great expectations in this new adventure with Alma Pramac Racing.”


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