The Barni Ducati Racing team has been a mainstay on the WorldSBK grid since 2014, however, the team has arguably never had a rider of Petrucci’s calibre. 

After finishing second to Jake Gagne in MotoAmerica last season, Petrucci decided to return to the world stage after agreeing a one-year deal with Barni Spark Racing Ducati.

Having already raced together during the 2011 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup, Petrucci familiarity with the team was key to him finally joining WorldSBK.

"Since 2011, the year in which we raced together with Danilo, we have always stayed in touch," Barnabo told "There is great mutual trust and it is not the first year that we have talked about the possibility of racing together again. 

"This year we succeeded and the rider's decision was decisive, because I think Danilo wants to get back into the game. 

"He is convinced that he can prove that he is still fast and wanted to compete with top-level riders. He made a difficult choice – certainly more difficult than staying in America – but this means that he has great stimuli. 

"From our point of view, the intervention of our title sponsor, Spark, who shared with us the idea of ​​taking on Danilo right from the start, was important."

Petrucci will also make his WorldSBK debut on similar machinery to reigning world champion Bautista, after Barnabo confirmed such news. 

"Ducati has always provided great technical support to all the teams that race with its bikes, the relationship with our team goes straight back to 1996 and we've been working with the Bolognese company for almost thirty years," added Barnabo. 

"We've always had a very close relationship and it will be like this again this year, we won't miss anything to be able to work well with Danilo. 

"At the beginning of the season the bikes are all very similar, then during the year everyone chooses to take their own path, but we all start from the same working base."

Dorna cost cuts could affect satellite WorldSBK teams

As was already the case for the likes of Gil-Motor Sport Yamaha and Motoxracing Yamaha in 2022, cost cuts have begun to impact what rounds the teams at the lower end of the financial spectrum can afford to compete at.

However, it’s not just teams looking to make cost cuts as Dorna’s decision to cut the number of crates to non-European rounds has become a concern to Barnabo, who says being smart with what parts are taken to such rounds will be crucial.

"The reduction for crates to be brought on extra-continental trips has created a big problem for us," said the Italian. "This is an important cut that between Supersport and Superbike is around 700 kg. I can understand Dorna needing to cut costs, but this means we have to make important choices about what to bring and what to leave at home. 

"In every race there is always the fear of having to make up for technical failures or falls. 

"In this situation we have to add that there are two races and that there will also be tests in Australia. As always, we comply with Dorna's rules, but we cannot hide our concern."