Danilo Petrucci says he is setting himself the lofty target of joining an elite group of riders to have won MotoGP races with two different manufacturers as he made his first appearance in KTM ‘orange’ ahead of the 2021 season.

After bringing his long six season stint with Ducati to a conclusion in 2020, Petrucci switches to KTM for the new year as part of the satellite Tech 3 Racing outfit that won two races last season with Miguel Oliveira.

In a KTM line-up largely focused on youth - Oliveira, Brad Binder and Iker Lecuona come with just four seasons of experience between them - Petrucci brings a wealth of experience by contrast, but anticipates he will face a challenge to emerge as the best-placed KTM rider following a year that saw both Oliveira and Binder score victories.

 

 

“I want to be as fast as possible,” he told Speedweek. “KTM is a great factory and Tech3 is a great team. I don't know if I can, but I want to be the best KTM rider. It would certainly be important for my future at KTM. But I know that Binder, Oliveira and Lecuona know the bike better than I do. But I have more experience in MotoGP.”

“It would be good to always fight with the top five. I feel the need after a difficult season in which I have only been ahead in one race. In 2020 I wanted to be constantly in the lead as I have always done since 2017. And in 2021 I want to win other races. I don't want to set a difficult goal for myself, but to be the best version of myself.”

A victory for Petrucci would see him add to his two career MotoGP victories achieved with Ducati (2019 Italy, 2020 France), making him one of a relative few to claim wins with more than one manufacturer. Of the current crop of riders only Maverick Vinales (Suzuki, Yamaha) and Valentino Rossi (Honda, Yamaha) have won races with two brands.

Currently studying German in order to communicate with his contemporaries, Petrucci is excited about his new challenge after a fraught relationship with Ducati towards the end of his tenure there.

“I learned German as a second language in school, between the ages of 11 and 15. Now I'm trying to learn it even better, but I noticed that it was easier for me in school than it is today. I understand it better than I speak it! But this season I want to improve and practice with the members of the German-speaking KTM team.”