Pramac rider Danilo Petrucci joins Factory Ducati for MotoGP 2019
Pramac rider Danilo Petrucci bags factory bike with Team Ducati for the 2019 season of MotoGP. As talks emerged that Repsol Honda will drop Dani Pedrosa at the end of 2018 season with Lorenzo in line to replace him at Repsol Honda (HRC).
Since Lorenzo is parting ways with the Factory Ducati Team, it paved the way for Pramac rider Danilo Petrucci and helped seal the deal with Ducati for the 2019 MotoGP season. Petrucci will be racing alongside Andrea Dovizioso for the 2019 MotoGP Season, which is currently a one-year agreement. Petrucci’s Alma Pramac teammate Jack Miller had been the other major contender to replace Lorenzo, but is set to stay put next year on the latest-specification GP19 Ducati.
Petrucci first joined Alma Pramac in 2015 and has secured 5 podium finishes with the team and 4 finishes in the last season itself. Petrucci had a firm offer from Aprilia, the seat which now may be offered to Andrea Iannone who would walk away from Suzuki at the end of 2018 season.
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Petrucci will be aiming to build on the six podiums he’s already achieved on the Desmosedici machine, which include four second place finishes – most recently at Le Mans this year – as well as claiming that illustrious first win.
“It goes without saying that for me, being part of the factory team is a dream come true,” said Petrucci. “It’s a great honour to become an official rider for the Ducati Team, especially for someone like me who started in Ducati as a production motorcycle test rider.
First of all, I would like to thank Paolo Campinoti and Francesco Guidotti, who gave me the chance four years ago to race on a Ducati for the Pramac Racing Team. Without them, all this would not have been possible. I also want to thank the managers of Ducati and Ducati Corse – Claudio Domenicali, Gigi Dall’Igna and Paolo Ciabatti – who appreciated me first as a person and then as a rider and I really can’t wait to start this new adventure in the factory team. Now all I want to do is to finish the year in the top five in the standings and then start the new season with the Ducati Team.”
Claudio Domenicali, Ducati Motor Holding CEO, added: “First of all I’d like to thank Jorge Lorenzo for all the efforts and commitment that he has made during his time as a Ducati rider and in particular for his outstanding victory last Sunday at Mugello, which will go down in history as one of our company’s legendary racing achievements.
Jorge is a great champion, capable of incredible feats, and even though it is sad that he took such a long time to find the right feeling with our bike, we will continue to do everything possible to put him in a position to achieve further victories in the remaining rounds of the season and fight for the world title together with his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso. I wish to give a warm welcome to Danilo, whom we look forward to seeing in Ducati Team colours next year, together with Andrea, and who we feel sure will continue his rapid rise to success.”
Rumours also linked current teammate Jack Miller to the factory seat, however, the Australian looks set to remain with Alma Pramac Racing on a GP19 next season, alongside rookie Francesco Bagnaia.