As the only factory MotoGP rider with a one-year contract, Danilo Petrucci knows he won't have time to "relax" at the official Ducati Team.

It's also "no secret" that Pramac young guns Jack Miller and Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia have their sights set on his factory seat for 2020.

But such pressure is nothing new to Petrucci, who feels he will actually have longer to prove himself this year than last.

"Every year is important. Last year was just as important, the previous year was important… And every year we say, 'this is the most impressive season in MotoGP, this is the most difficult season in MotoGP'. Because it's true," explained the Italian.

"For sure a one-year contract doesn't let me relax. But I've never had a relaxing year in MotoGP since I joined!

"I remember in 2015 when I joined the Pramac team I had the same situation and it was like I had closed a circle of the CRT bike. Now I've closed the circle of satellite teams and I want to open another [factory team] circle.

"So this year for me is important, but I have maybe more time because there is not the rush like last year to close the contract, because the top riders are already okay for this season. So I can focus on my performance at the beginning."

But while the other factory riders are all starting two-year deals, satellite Ducati signings Miller and Bagnaia are waiting in the wings should a vacancy appear alongside Andrea Dovizioso in 2020.

"For sure Jack and Pecco want my bike. It's not a secret! But for this year it's mine and I want it to be mine also in the next years, in 2020, 2021, 2022…!" smiled Petrucci.

"Jokes apart, they are two very, very fast riders. Especially Jack, I really enjoyed being team-mate with him last year. He's a good guy. Pecco has been really fast, impressive, in his first tests in MotoGP.

"But I know if I make my best and every year I've improved my results in MotoGP, so if I continue like this - improving my results - I will arrive on top, I hope!"

Petrucci, eighth in the world championship last season, has his sights set on a debut MotoGP victory in 2019 whilst aiding Dovizioso's planned title challenge.


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