After spending ten seasons in MotoGP, followed by an appearance in the Dakar Rally and one season in MotoAmerica where he finished second to Jake Gagne, Petrucci has now joined Barni Ducati for the upcoming WorldSBK campaign. 

The Italian has never competed in WorldSBK but will be doing so on championship-winning material after Alvaro Bautista secured the Riders’ title, as did Ducati in the Manufacturers’ championship. 

Keen to prove himself against the best WorldSBK has to offer, Petrucci told GPOne.com: "What pushed me more towards WSBK was the fact that I hadn't raced there yet. 

"I had this opportunity with a very competitive bike, which I used this year, but on other tracks and with other tyres, and I was excited by the idea of ​​trying it where it's at its best, because it's the bike that won the world championship this year.

"I like riding motorbikes and if I have to choose, I choose the most competitive one. I did a lot of thinking. It took me a long time to come to this decision."

Petrucci, who made a late-season appearance in MotoGP as a replacement for the injured Joan Mir at Buriram, will replace Xavi Fores who stepped in for disappointing rookie Luca Bernardi over the last three rounds of the Superbike season.

While the move to WorldSBK makes sense from a competitive standpoint, Petrucci also revealed that leaving MotoAmerica and the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC team was a very tough decision. In fact, Petrucci was even offered a salary increase to stay in MotoAmerica.

"I have to say that it was very difficult to decide," added Petrucci. "Eraldo Ferracci and the entire SBK team in MotoAmerica also worked very hard this year to make me race and they would have worked even harder next year to get me to race.

"It was great to race with Ferracci. He treated me like a grandson when I was there. He's an incredible character and I'm so sorry I didn't go. They had offered me even more than what I earned this year.

"They wanted me, also because I said right away that I didn't want to come back, because I didn't have the technical guarantees to say 'I'll go there and have fun', because it's a championship that can definitely be won, but this year Gagne had no rivals.

"We fought it out in the last race because he made a lot more mistakes than me and I picked up on that. I saw a bike with great potential, but with those [Dunlop] tyres something different is needed and it's a very big commitment."