MotoGP: Petrucci: “I am happy to be riding a KTM this year”

Danilo Petrucci has expressed his happiness to ride for KTM who were incredibly competitive in 2020.

Danilo Petrucci has made the step over to the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team for 2021 following from 6 successful years with Ducati whereby he took 10 podiums and 2 wins. This is not forgetting his start in the class way back in 2012 riding for the Ioda Racing Team which in the nicest way possible, was a bike built in a garage, the bike was severely uncompetitive and fell apart quite a lot, since this time of his career on CRT machines he has come a long way and is excited to begin his 10th season in the class in orange.

After receiving a phone call from Ducati at the start of the season telling him that he was out of a ride Petrucci had to play a waiting game, he needed to wait for a seat to come available to him which was competitive enough for him to continue to fight for victories. So when Jorge Martin terminated his Tech3 contract it was a no brainer for Petrucci and KTM to come together, Petrucci’s experience combined with KTM’s development programme meant he would be a good fit for the factory.

Petrucci signed a deal with the team before the season had begun, so when KTM were successful in the early parts of the year including Brad Binder’s victory at Brno, the Italian gained a lot of confidence in the brand and believed that the move was the right thing to do, this was solidified by Oliveira’s two more wins by the end of the season.

At first, when the rumours circulated that Petrucci was going to KTM many believed that he would move to the factory team alongside Brad Binder, however, this would be the straw which broke Oliveira’s back after Binder was chosen over him to replace Johann Zarco. KTM in operation ‘damage limitation’ decided to hire Oliveira into the factory team to replace the outbound Espargaro and hire Petrucci at Tech3. Tech3 are supplied with the same spec bikes as the factory team meaning the difference was only cosmetic with the motorcycle Petrucci would be riding.

Now that he is a KTM rider Petrucci is free to talk about the brand and his future and he is incredibly excited about what’s in store, he said, “For me, I am proud to ride the RC16 because in 2020 it was the biggest surprise of the MotoGP category so I am really curious about riding this bike. It was very hard to fight against it last year because it’s a really really fast bike and I think also it’s very fast in all conditions, when its dry, cold or wet. The bike is strong with much potential and for this reason it was hard to fight against it last year but I am happy to be riding one this year.

“This is my 10th year in MotoGP, so to celebrate this I will ride for KTM and its a big pride for me, this means that I am getting older but when I started my MotoGP career there were only 3/4 riders who could fight to win, but now I think 10 riders could fight for victories and I think 15 can fight for a podium, maybe the whole grid.

“The MotoGP championship has grown and improved its roots so now the bikes are very similar, therefore the details can make the difference, during last season we saw 9 different winners and 15 different riders on the podium so it’s really challenging to be competitive in all of the races. I think we are ready.”

He is also incredibly excited about the prospect of riding for Tech3 saying, “Tech3 is one of the most competitive teams in MotoGP, last year they won 2 races with Oliveira so it’s like a factory team and I am really really happy to ride for them. I have known Herve Poncharal for a long time and he is always been very very nice to me so I am very very happy especially as we have all the factory support in this nice environment. I am very excited to try the bike.”

Featured images – KTM Press Centre / Philip Platzer