UPDATE: Asked by Spanish TV company DAZN if he would be racing where he wants to be next season, Raul Fernandez replied "no... let's just leave it there", which is thought to mean he actually wanted to stay in Moto2 but has been moved up to MotoGP by KTM to fend-off persistent interest from Yamaha.

On Sunday morning, Pit Beirer later confirmed to Simon Crafar that other manufacturers were 'ripping at the shirt' of Raul, which he felt was putting the Spaniard under pressure, prompting Saturday's rushed KTM announcement instead of waiting until after the race weekend.

However, KTM only needed to wait another 30mins for the current Tech3 riders to at least complete their Saturday track activities before issuing the news that both were officially out of the team.

Meanwhile, with Yamaha having missed out on Fernandez, the latest rumour is that Petronas Moto3 rider Darryn Binder could jump straight from Moto3 to MotoGP with the satellite M1 team next season.

Danilo Petrucci understood KTM's decision to sign Moto2 star Raul Fernandez for the 2022 MotoGP season, but not the communication and 'behaviour' surrounding the announcement.

With Remy Gardner already confirmed for the other Tech 3 seat, the Fernandez signing means both Petrucci and team-mate Iker Lecuona will leave Tech3 at the end of the season and are almost certainly out of MotoGP.

The Fernandez deal had been heavily rumoured for weeks, but publicly denied by KTM right up until a few hours before the official news was made - while Petrucci and Lecuona were on track for final practice in Austria.

"I was absolutely not surprised about the news," smiled Petrucci. "We expected it, because as I told you many times, when someone doesn't answer the phone, you are for sure not renewing the contract. But at least answering the phone is a matter of, let's say, education.

"[The way they did the announcement during FP4] today, maybe they could wait a few hours or something. But… [laughs]… even if I've been here since I was three years old following my father, this world will always surprise me. The best thing is to see the faces. Like, 'you know, that I know'.

"But we didn't achieve what we expected and I was the first one in Assen to say if I was in the trousers of KTM's management, I would sign Raul. But then in all the interviews they made, it was quite funny to see they still act like nothing was decided! But instead everything was decided."

Most would find looking up at a TV monitor in the middle of a MotoGP track session to see that you've been officially sacked something of a distraction, to say the least.

While Petrucci insisted it didn't affect his focus or motivation he was 'surprised about the behaviour of some people'.

"I knew [this decision] for many days and I haven't changed my approach or anything. When I am on the bike, I always gave my best," he said. "As I told you, it's not a surprise for me. I'm more surprised about the behaviour of some people. And I'm not going to say names."

But what now for the future?

The only MotoGP seats still available are at Aprilia, expected to confirm Maverick Vinales in the next few days, VR46, which has only ever signed riders from its own Academy, and Petronas, looking for young riders from Moto2.

A switch to World Superbike would be more feasible, but Petrucci is also a lifelong fan of off-road competition.

"I don’t know sincerely" Petrucci said. "I understood during this year that I have to ride for myself and for my instinct and for what I love the most, that is riding a bike, not because I don’t know if I'm going to race next year or something like that.

"With my weight and my size and I achieved more than I expected in my career. For sure my childhood dream was to win the world championship and I start to understand that it's not possible anymore.

"I arrived quite close to the top, especially in 2019 I was third for a lot of the season, but the deepest thing I want is to ride motorbikes. Especially in the last season I was having more fun riding dirt bikes with my friends than coming to the races, even if I tried my everything."

The Italian, who has a best KTM finish of fifth this season in the wet and ninth in the dry, added:

"MotoGP in the last two years has been very close and the level is really, really high and my weight and my size is really in another level unfortunately. So, it became really difficult to be competitive.

"When you face the engineers and they say; 'you are too big for the aerodynamics, the weight to accelerate and stop is too much and you will lose always something'. And then recovering [the time lost] is becoming more and more difficult.

"But nothing changes until the end of the year, I will try my best because last year in Le Mans nobody expected me to win a race and I won a race, which is quite a good achievement."

One of the few riders to reach MotoGP from a superbike background, Petrucci's first win, also with Ducati, was in the dry 2019 Italian MotoGP at Mugello.

17th and +1.1s in final practice, Petrucci will start Sunday's Styrian Grand Prix from 22nd on the grid, behind all but replacement rider Cal Crutchlow.

"I was quite happy about the feeling in FP4 and I imagined a different qualifying, but when I try to do something more in this track it's always a nightmare for me!" he said.

"We struggle a lot on the straight and especially stopping the bike to 50km/h and then turning always 20, 30 - or in the case of Pedrosa - with 40 kilos more weight! It’s a hard job! It has always been very difficult for me at this track, even in the past."

But with rain forecast for Sunday, might Petrucci be able to pull off a repeat of last year's Le Mans heroics?