Ducati has officially confirmed Danilo Petrucci will step up to the factory squad to replace the Honda-bound Jorge Lorenzo for 2019.

With Lorenzo’s departure from the Italian manufacturer confirmed this morning as he moves to Honda in place of Dani Pedrosa, Petrucci has been selected as the rider to join Andrea Dovizioso at the factory squad from 2019 on what is expected to be a one-year deal.

Petrucci, who has spent the past four seasons at satellite outfit Pramac Ducati, was in a race against team-mate Jack Miller to be named a factory Ducati rider while the Australian already has a contract option to see him on a factory-spec Ducati bike in 2019 with the Pramac squad.

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Petrucci is thrilled to secure the factory Ducati deal having climbed his way up the ranks having started as a test rider for Ducati with its efforts in production racing.  

“Being part of the factory team is a dream come true,” Petrucci said. “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.

“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.”

After finishing runner-up in the 2011 FIM European Superstock 1000 Cup, Petrucci made the move to MotoGP with Ioda Racing on a CRT package. After three season with Ioda racing different machinery each year the Italian rider made the move to Pramac in 2015.

With six career MotoGP podiums to his name, Petrucci secured a factory-specification Ducati run by Pramac in the past two years which has led to his promotion to the works team with Lorenzo switching to Honda.

“I wish to give a warm welcome to Danilo, whom we look forward to seeing in Ducati team colours next year,” Claudio Domenicali, Ducati CEO, said. “Together with Andrea, and who we feel sure will continue his rapid rise to success.”

Petrucci's factory Ducati deal is also expected to confirm Miller will stay at Pramac Ducati on the factory-spec bike in 2019, joined by rookie Francesco Bagnaia who has already signed a two-year works contract and currently leads the Moto2 world championship standings.



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