Danilo Petrucci will be the rider making way for Jack Miller at the factory Ducati MotoGP team next season.

That's according to Petrucci's manager Alberto Vergani, who told GPOne.com: "Danilo is currently out of the Ducati project in MotoGP."

With no races held so far this year due to the coronavirus, Vergani says Ducati made its rider choice based on the second half of last season. Vergani is also "99%" sure Petrucci's current team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will continue at the factory, alongside Miller.

Assuming the Miller-Dovizioso scenario materialises, Vergani lists Petrucci's main 2021 options as either a switch to the factory Ducati team in WorldSBK or joining Aprilia in MotoGP.

Aprilia has been close to signing Petrucci on several occasions in the past, only for the Italian to renew with Ducati.

So might the Petrucci-Aprilia partnership finally happen for 2021?

It seems much will depend on whether countryman and fellow one-time Ducati MotoGP race winner Andrea Iannone is able to overturn - or at least significantly reduce - his 18-month ban, which runs until 16 June, 2021.

"At the moment the aim is to confirm Aleix and Andrea [for 2021]," an Aprilia spokesman told Crash.net. "Regarding Andrea, of course that depends on the appeal."

Iannone has submitted an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] on the grounds that he innocently ingested a banned steroid (Drostanolone) via contaminated meat in Malaysia, but the verdict date is unclear.

Meanwhile, MotoGP is aiming to start its disrupted 2020 season with two rounds at Jerez in July.

Those would also be the first races for Aprilia's all-new RS-GP, which performed impressively in the hands of Aleix Espargaro during winter testing, albeit with some engine reliability issues.

However, a recent announcement by the Grand Prix Commission confirmed that Concession manufacturers KTM and Aprilia can continue making engine-design modifications until the end of June, before joining the other four factories in a technical freeze.

 

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