Danilo Petrucci

Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Personal Information

Full Name
Danilo Petrucci
CountryItaly Italy

About Danilo Petrucci

Danilo Petrucci will take part in his second WorldSBK campaign in 2024, as he look to become the first rider to win a MotoGP race, WorldSBK race and Dakar Rally stage.

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Full Biography

Danilo Petrucci will take part in his second WorldSBK campaign in 2024, as he look to become the first rider to win a MotoGP race, WorldSBK race and Dakar Rally stage.

Petrucci's full-time MotoGP career, which began on CRT machinery and peaked with two race wins for the Factory Ducati team, came to an end after a tough season at Tech3 KTM in 2021.

The popular Italian, who felt his height and weight had become insurmountable obstacles in MotoGP, announced a shock switch to the Dakar Rally where he promptly made history as the first MotoGP rider to take a stage win in the desert classic.

He then took on another new challenge in MotoAmerica, with instant success, before accepting a shock MotoGP return with Suzuki late in the season, then signing to race in WorldSBK for 2023.

Danilo Petrucci - Route to MotoGP

Unlike most riders around him, Danilo Petrucci made his MotoGP debut after competing on the WorldSBK programme rather than via the  FIM Superstock 1000 Cup.

After three seasons in the European Superstock 600 Championship, Petrucci stepped up to the 1000 class, mounting a title challenge on the Barni Racing Ducati in 2011. Despite winning four races from ten races, he was forced to settle for the runners-up spot behind Davide Giugliano on the sister Althea machine.

Danilo Petrucci in MotoGP (2012 - 2022)

Ioda Racing CRT (2012 - 2014)

Danilo Petrucci stepped straight into MotoGP with Ioda Racing for 2012. Racing with their own CRT design, utilising a 'standard' Aprilia RSV4 engine, Ioda and Petrucci faced a near 40km/h top speed disadvantage before the team switched to Suter-BMW machinery in the second half of the season.

Remaining with Ioda and Suter BMW machinery for 2013, Petrucci certainly didn’t disgrace himself against more experienced CRT rivals during his second season in the top flight.

Highlights included eleventh place at the Circuit de Catalunya and being the only CRT rider to reach Qualifying 2 at the Valencia finale. Eleven points’ finishes in 18 races saw Petrucci end the season a respectable fifth in class.

Petrucci and Ioda switched to Aprilia ART motorcycles for the new 'Open' class in 2014, but the evolution of the Open regulations meant his CRT bike had little answer to the likes of Honda and Yamaha. Nonetheless, the Italian persevered and was comfortably the fastest CRT bike, scoring a best result of 11th in Aragon and troubling the points on six occasions, albeit between injuries, and secured his big chance in the form of a Pramac Ducati ride for 2015

Pramac Ducati (2015 - 2018)

Finally on competitive machinery, Petrucci was arguably the find of the season. Naturally, his ride to second in wet conditions at Silverstone - which very nearly yielded a shock win stands out, but his top six finishes in Misano and Sepang subsequently were indicative of what he could achieve with confidence under his belt. Coupled to otherwise steadfast consistency on the Ducati, Petrucci deserved to sneak into the overall top ten by the season’s end and comfortably retain his seat for 2016.

His eye-catching 2015 campaign coupled with the more potent Ducati GP15 offered huge potential for 2016, but Petrucci's efforts were hampered from the off when he broke his hand in winter testing and was forced to withdraw from the season opener in Qatar.

He made his belated 2016 race debut at Le Mans but, despite consistent points finishes, standout results never appeared for the Italian - who notably fell while leading at the wet-dry German round. The contest with team-mate Scott Redding for a GP15 ride next year made it harder to take the kind of risks needed for a satellite rider to challenge for the podium - but certainly ramped up the pressure between the Pramac riders, culminating in contact at Aragon, for which Petrucci was handed a ride-through penalty.

Nevertheless, a largely forgettable season ended on a high by outscoring Redding from Brno onwards and thus securing the coveted GP17 over Redding. 

With the benefit of spec-machinery, Petrucci made the most of the machinery available to him and largely rewarded Ducati's faith in him by landing a quartet of podium results - more than factory man Jorge Lorenzo - to secure a career-best eighth in the overall standings, only 13 points shy of the triple World Champion.

Another season followed in 2018, once more on the up to date GP18, and while his headline results were restricted to a single rostrum visit in France, he was a consistent top ten performer (13 from 18 races) and once more secure eighth in the overall standings.

Ducati Team (2019-2020)

With Lorenzo defecting to Honda, Petrucci was the natural candidate to assume his place in the factory Ducati team and he subsequently made the most of his opportunity during the first half of the 2019 MotoGP season, initially out-performing stalwart Andrea Dovizioso and landing a spectacular maiden victory on home soil in Mugello.

Achieved in front of his adoring home fans and the Ducati bosses, the emotional win - achieved with one of the most inch-perfect passes for a win ever seen on the final lap - saw Petrucci snapped up for a contract renewal in 2020.

However, with the renewal came a bizarre lull in form that would hamper him right to the end of the year and allowed Jack Miller - his rival for the factory ride on the Pramac bike - out-perform him in the final races.

Though there was speculation Miller could be promoted at the behest of Petrucci's contract for 2020, Ducati resisted the speculation but - prior to the season getting underway - confirmed the Australian would replace him for 2021. 

The confidence sapping announcement evidently took its toll on Petrucci as he struggled to match either Dovizioso and Miller throughout the truncated 2020 season. Despite this, he did fire in an unexpected second career win at Le Mans when a well-judged and poised performance in wet conditions saw him fend off a number of riders to claim a surprise success.

Linked to KTM immediately after his exit from Ducati was confirmed, Petrucci was confirmed to be joining the satellite Tech 3 squad, rather than the Factory as initially expected. Nonetheless, it looked competitive on paper with Tech 3 scoring two of KTM's three wins in 2020, courtesy of Miguel Oliveira.

Tech3 KTM (2021)

Petrucci's hopes of being competitive at KTM were soon crushed when it became clear that his size and weight were not compatible with the RC16, causing top speed and tyre wear problems. Such issues were compounded by the bike - now without access to technical concessions after its 2020 success - struggling in the hands of even last year's race winners Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira.

Petrucci used his renowned wet weather skills for a fifth place at Le Mans, but was no higher than tenth in the dry and - like team-mate Iker Lecuona - was confirmed as losing his seat to an all-new 2022 Tech3 line-up of Moto2 stars Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez shortly after the summer break.

While WorldSBK seemed an obvious choice, given his background, Petrucci instead accepted KTM's surprise Dakar offer but is expected to return to asphalt with Ducati for the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike series.

Suzuki Ecstar (2022)

Shortly after finishing title runner-up in MotoAmerica, Danilo Petrucci made a popular return to MotoGP action as a replacement for the injured Joan Mir at the 2022 Thai Grand Prix. It was the Italian's first experience of a Japanese MotoGP machine and he revelled in the corning ability of the GSX-RR. Rain was forecast throughout the Buriram weekend, providing the potential for Petrucci to cause an upset, but it ultimately arrived too late - just before the race - meaning he had no chance to try the bike before the start.

Petrucci joins WorldSBK

While Ducati wanted Petrucci to have another crack at MotoAmerica, the Italian opted for a debut in the World Superbike championship, with Barni Ducati, in 2023.

His journey in WorldSBK will continue in 2024 as Petrucci agreed to stay put with Barni Ducati.

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