As the 2019 MotoGP grid fills up, the competition for the remaining seats intensifies with Danilo Petrucci claiming on Thursday he is pondering an offer to leave Pramac Ducati and take over Scott Redding’s seat at Aprilia.

Petrucci is still locked in talks with Ducati, the Italian stating his preference - “my dream” - is to move up to the factory team should Jorge Lorenzo depart. If that fails to materialise, Aprilia is an option, with the 27-year old categorically stating he has an offer from the Noale factory.

While Aprilia confirm it is “talking to some riders” including Petrucci and Andrea Iannone, there was no confirmation they had already made an offer. And Redding said he can still keep his current seat there, but acknowledged his race results need to improve. And soon.

According to Petrucci, a flurry of movement will follow a final agreement between Ducati and Andrea Dovizioso, with the #04 stating on Thursday “we are closer than before.” From there, Petrucci believes the futures of Iannone, Jorge Lorenzo and Jack Miller will be confirmed in quick succession.

“We are talking with Ducati,” said Petrucci at Le Mans, “but in this moment, the first thing they have to solve is the Dovizioso deal, and then after Dovizioso chooses his future, then even the other riders, I think me, Iannone, Pedrosa, Lorenzo, and Miller, we will move after Dovizioso chooses what he wants to do.

“At the moment, everybody is stopping, waiting for Dovi. I don't know what he is going to do, but for sure we have to wait. I think I am in good company, because even other riders are waiting for him, and unfortunately there are not so many places to go.

“There are not so many factory places available at the moment, only Ducati and Aprilia are still waiting, so more or less I said which are my proposals. If not, as I told you, I have to wait for Dovi's choice, and for sure my dream, my target is to go in the factory team, because I have been with Ducati for four years, and then we will see.

“I'm giving all my best in and out of the track, if it's enough I will be happy, if not at least I am happy because I say I am not enough for a factory team, and I have more or less the clear mind that last year and this year I am giving my best.



“The only thing I can say is that it is a really stupid thing to choose the rider for the next three seasons, because there is more than half the season and the next two seasons in the first part of the season. For me it's a really stupid thing.

“For example, my ex-teammate Scott, what is his motivation that he already knows that he is out of his team? I don't understand what is the motivation to choose the rider at the second race or the third race.”

So does Petrucci currently have an offer on the table from Aprilia to take Redding's place?

“Yes,” he said.

Asked if he was tempted by the offer, Petrucci said, “I think that at the moment, the best option is to stay in a team that I already know, people I have already worked with. If not, I cannot do any more. Unfortunately it's a thing I cannot choose, someone else is choosing for me.”

When Petrucci’s comments were put to Redding, the Englishman said he was sure “hand on heart” that nothing is confirmed at Aprilia. Project leader Romano Albesiano had been open with him, he said, the Italian recently stating he would like the current rider line-up to remain. But, Redding's performances must improve.

“I spoke with Romano in Mugello [at a recent test],” said Redding. “He said that he was speaking with other riders. I think it’s normal for a team to be speaking. It was quite clear what he said to me and his opinion was the same as mine: you’ve got the talent, you’ve showed potential. They’re really happy with the way I develop the bike and the feedback I can give back. But before he said it, I said, ‘I don’t put the result,’ which is true. I 100% agree.

“I am showing I can be fast but where it matters the most is Sunday. I fully understand that. I said to Aprilia, ‘When I signed the contract to come here, there was not 1% doubt in my mind that I’d be finishing where I’m finishing.’ It’s a shock for me. But believe me, I want to make it work with Aprilia. I want to. It’s really what I want to do.

“I’m happy for the test. I’ll do laps, laps, laps, laps and what I need to do. If at the end of the year or in a few races they say, ‘You don’t have a ride,’ fair enough. I’ve given 100%. At home, at the races, I’ve given everything this year. If it’s not enough, it’s not enough. I understand they need to put results on the table and if it isn’t coming on the Sunday, then that’s normal.

“I’m not in any doubt at all. What they said to me was, ‘We want to keep you but we need to see that you can do it.’ That’s a fair balance. They’re not going behind my back. They’re open. They’re honest. That’s what I like most about being here. No one is really snaking anyone. It’s open.

“I knew Aleix [Espargaro – Redding’s team-mate] signed for two years more before. It’s OK. I fully understand where they’re coming from. If I don’t have a ride with Aprilia, I haven’t at this moment even thought what I want to do.

“Do I go somewhere else in MotoGP? Do I go to [World] Superbike – not really interested. Do I go back to Moto2? I’d still have a disadvantage. At the moment, my main goal is to make it work here and to show I can. I truly believe the bike has potential to make some results – not win races, but if Aleix can do it, I can do it. That’s for sure.”

“There’s no second signed contract out there. I believe that hand on heart. Tomorrow, there could be. Right now, as it stands there is no, ‘OK, it’s a done deal from their side.’ If there is then I was wrong and they snaked me, but there ain’t. I cannot agree more.”


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