Petrucci: I’ll be among the "last normal people" to win in MotoGP

Danilo Petrucci says he is likely to be “one of the last normal people” to be successful in MotoGP “without being a phenomenon”.

Petrucci: I’ll be among the "last normal people" to win in MotoGP

The Italian competed in his last MotoGP race last weekend at the Valencia Grand Prix and will switch to a Dakar Rally campaign in 2022 with KTM having lost his Tech3 rider for 2022.

It marks the end of a 10-year spell in MotoGP in which Petrucci came from the very back of the field in 2012 on the Ioda CRT machine to becoming a double race winner as a factory Ducati rider in 2019 and 2020.

Having come through the European ranks in production racing before his MotoGP shot, Petrucci’s route into the premier class of grand prix racing was a hugely unconventional.

PLUS: Why MotoGP will miss its gentle giant 

Reflecting on his time in MotoGP, he believes he is likely to be the last rider to have success in the top class of grand prix motorcycle racing without being seen as a special talent.

“The first time in late 2011 someone told me I’m going to race in MotoGP next year, so my friends asked me, ‘Did you ever imagine racing in MotoGP?’” Petrucci said.

“And I answered, ‘Yes’, because it was always a dream of mine. But one thing is talking about the seat and another thing is crossing the seat.

“Sincerely, when I started this adventure in 2012, I don’t remember if I was last but for sure the first race I was last and I broke the bike also. For many races I’d be last in practice, last in qualifying and last in the race.

“And I think I was the only still believing, I never quit. One day the dream came true and was really, really, really nice because maybe I’m one of the last normal people to make without being a phenomenon.

“When I was young I was just a good rider, I was fast but people were faster than me.

Petrucci beat Marquez and Dovizioso to first of two MotoGP wins at Mugello in 2019

Petrucci beat Marquez and Dovizioso to first of two MotoGP wins at Mugello in 2019

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But I never stopped believing that I was the best, and for two times in a race I showed to the people I was the best at least in that circuit, on that day.

“Mugello [in 2019] maybe was one day, but then I showed to myself at Le Mans [in 2020] that I could still win races.”

Former Pramac team-mate Jack Miller doesn’t believe any rider barring an exceptional few come into MotoGP as phenomenons and says the effort Petrucci put in to become competitive is proof to him that the Italian is “a legend”.

“The phenomenon thing I don’t think exists – ok, maybe [Moto3 champion] Pedro Acosta, or somebody like that,” Miller said when asked about Petrucci’s comments.

“But they’re few and far between. But Danilo had a talent, and not only a talent; he worked for it.

“If you see photos of him on the Ioda, with a face like a moon, and then when he hopped onto the Ducati, what he did to his body to be able to be competitive here, he worked for it. The guy is a legend.”

shares
comments

Related video

Rins “expected” crash in Valencia MotoGP finale while fighting for win
Previous article

Rins “expected” crash in Valencia MotoGP finale while fighting for win

Next article

"Moral champion" Fernandez feels team stood in way of his Moto2 title bid

"Moral champion" Fernandez feels team stood in way of his Moto2 title bid
Load comments
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Plus

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021