Ducati: Danilo Petrucci must prove himself in 2019 MotoGP season

Ducati MotoGP sporting director Paolo Ciabatti says the onus is on Danilo Petrucci to prove he deserves his promotion to the factory team as Jorge Lorenzo's 2019 replacement

Ducati: Danilo Petrucci must prove himself in 2019 MotoGP season

Pramac rider Petrucci was chosen to partner Andrea Dovizioso in Ducati's works team for 2019 when it split with Lorenzo, who then secured a Honda move.

Unlike the other factory riders on the MotoGP grid, Petrucci is only on a one-year deal and will be under pressure early next year to earn a contract renewal.

MotoGP needs a 'transfer window' after wild silly season

He faces possible competition from current Pramac team-mate Jack Miller, as well as his replacement at the satellite squad, Moto2 champion Francesco Bagnaia, to maintain his seat alongside Dovizioso in 2020.

Miller has made little secret of the fact he is targeting Petrucci's seat for the 2020 campaign, having missed out on a 2019 promotion in favour of the Italian.

Asked whether Petrucci's one-year deal meant he would be under pressure to prove himself to Ducati, Ciabatti told Autosport: "That is a bit the truth.

"Riding for an official team means a lot of pressure, both from the media and sponsors. He has to show that he is able to get on the podium often.

"Danilo has to see the coming season as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Petrucci did not come into MotoGP via the usual Moto3/Moto2 grand prix feeder categories route, instead establishing his career in Superstock racing.

He got a MotoGP break with the small Ioda team in 2012 after winning the Italian Superstock 1000 title and spent three years there before moving to Pramac Ducati.

"His career up to this point has been very particular, and we believe he deserves the opportunity that he was offered," Ciabatti added.

"But he has to show us that the decision we have made is correct.

"It's true that a two-year contract would give him some more peace of mind, but Ducati has to be sure that its two riders are able to win races.

"That's why I think a one-year contract was the most appropriate."

Petrucci heads into this weekend's Valencia season finale targeting independent honours, lying five points behind Tech3 Yamaha's Johann Zarco in the standings.

The 28-year-old's best result this season has been second at Le Mans, his only trip to the podium of the current campaign.

shares
comments
Full 2019 MotoE entry list announced for inaugural electric series

Previous article

Full 2019 MotoE entry list announced for inaugural electric series

Next article

BSB-bound Scott Redding criticises MotoGP 'atmosphere', 'attitudes'

BSB-bound Scott Redding criticises MotoGP 'atmosphere', 'attitudes'
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Danilo Petrucci
Teams Ducati Team , AB Motoracing
Author Oriol Puigdemont
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021