Although most attention will be on Valentino Rossi's final home MotoGP appearance at Misano this weekend, countryman Danilo Petrucci is also set to complete his last grand prix lap in Italy on Sunday.

Nine-time world champion Rossi is heading for retirement at the end of this season, while double MotoGP race winner Petrucci - without a ride for 2022 - is set to swap asphalt for dirt and take on the Dakar.

Jumping into MotoGP without the usual Moto3-Moto2 background, Petrucci joined the premier-class on the slowest of the CRT bikes in 2012, getting his big break with a Pramac Ducati seat in 2015.

Six podiums at the satellite team led to a factory Ducati seat, alongside Andrea Dovizioso, for 2019, where he won his home MotoGP at Mugello. A wet weather victory at Le Mans followed in 2020 before being pushed out of the Italian team and signing for KTM.

But the Austrian engineers have struggled to accommodate Petrucci's size and weight to the compact RC16, with tyre issues - which seem to be related to weight transfer - and top speed difficulties dogging the Italian throughout the season.

However, rain is the great leveller and Petrucci was a fighting fifth in the wet at Le Mans this year and might yet spring a surprise if the forecast wet weather arrives on Sunday.

“Finally, we come back to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Maybe this will be my last race in Italy and I want to be faster than last time there, where we faced a lot of difficulties," said Petrucci, who was 16th in the first Misano round.

"For sure, the temperatures and with it the overall conditions will be very different, as it’s quite cold now in Italy. So, we face a completely new challenge.

"I definitely want to perform the best I can for my home race. There will be even more fans around the circuit, so I can’t wait to ride my KTM again at my home track.”

Team boss Herve Poncharal added: "Clearly, the weather should be quite different to what we had at Misano one. We even saw that there could be some rain and much lower temperature, so this is going to be a new race with different protagonists in front.

“On our side, it could be the very last MotoGP race for Danilo at home in front of his fans, which should be quite emotional. The weather, and especially if we have some wet conditions, could be playing in his favour. But let’s wait and see."

On the other side of the Tech3 garage, Iker Lecuona starts his final three races for the French team having also failed to score points at the last two rounds.

"At the moment, Iker is in a really good form and he just needs a little bit of luck. The difficult conditions, cold and wet, have never been a problem for him also," said Poncharal.

“So we go to Misano with a positive frame of mind, knowing that our two guys should be able to fight for the top 10."