Danilo Petrucci has turned to Ducati’s Esports rider Andrea Saveri for guidance and tips as he looks to get up to speed before making his MotoGP Virtual Race debut this weekend.

Petrucci and MotoGP test rider Michele Pirro will represent the factory Ducati squad in the second MotoGP Virtual Race, a 10-lap encounter at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on the MotoGP19 video game, having missed out on the first race which saw Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia narrowly lose out to new Repsol Honda rider Alex Marquez.

Petrucci says he’s been practising throughout the build-up to the race which takes place this Sunday (April 12) and is relishing the return to competition - albeit virtually.

Last year’s Italian MotoGP winner is also looking to pick up advice from Ducati’s expert Esports rider in his bid to take his fight to the front-runners.

“Taking part in the Virtual Race is not like racing on a real race track, but in this particular moment, it is nice to have such an alternative to being able to challenge my rivals,” Petrucci said. “It is a different way to keep our competitive spirits high!

“The game is so realistic, and I am practising a bit these days. I even asked for some piece of advice to Andrea Saveri, our Ducati Corse eSport rider and reigning ‘virtual’ MotoGP World Champion! I am sure it will be extremely entertaining, and I can’t wait to know how it will turn out.”

Pirro concedes he’s not a regular on the MotoGP video game but hopes to enjoy the experience and provide tough competition to his more experienced rivals.

“I would have never expected that my first 2020 MotoGP race is going to be virtual!” Pirro said. “I’ve never been a big video game player, but I will try hard to be able to get a good result on Sunday.

“I will try to live it is as a real competition, even if, for sure, it will be a strange situation for me, but at the same time, it will be fun.

“I can’t wait for Sunday to arrive to head back out on track “virtually” and celebrate Easter with all our fans, sponsors and technical staff. I am sure they will be watching the race from home.”