Why Ducati's latest divorce was inevitable
Confirming this week that he will be leaving Ducati at the end of 2020, Danilo Petrucci's exit had been on the cards since last year's Valencia MotoGP finale. Circumstances and a dip in form have worked against him, but Petrucci is a rider who still deserves his place
Though it is yet to be made official, Ducati and Danilo Petrucci will part ways at the end of the 2020 season. He's been ousted by the graduating Jack Miller from Pramac and left with no room at the inn as Andrea Dovizioso, despite his qualms over money, looks likely to remain in the other works Ducati garage for 2021.
The harsh truth is that this had been coming since the back-end of last year. Following a strong opening half to the 2019 season - Petrucci's first as a full factory rider - which included his debut win after 124 starts, his form trailed off miserably, with the 29-year-old failing to secure a top six finish on the run from Brno to the season-ender in Valencia. Finding a way out of that spiral proved tricky for Ducati, as Petrucci's weight - being the tallest rider on the grid - played a major factor.
Rider salaries in the premier class have dropped significantly in the last four years, mainly due to the effects of the pandemic. But it has also changed due to a shift in the contractual model used by manufacturers, which is set to have a significant impact on the balance of power in 2022
Danilo Petrucci’s decision to switch to rallying at the conclusion of his time in MotoGP at the end of 2021 raised many eyebrows. Deciding to make his rally raid debut at the Dakar courted scepticism. With his debut almost over on several occasions before it began, Petrucci’s Dakar odyssey was a wild affair full of ups, downs and a run-in with a camel. He sat down with Autosport to reveal all
Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve
OPINION: MotoGP will get its own Drive to Survive-style series in 2022, airing on Amazon Prime Video. It’s a much-needed grab at the mainstream for MotoGP, but a paradigm shift in the series highlighted by one of its leading stars must be embraced and not overshadowed by a desire to replicate DTS’s popcorn drama
Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars
That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class
Eight different riders won races across an ultra-competitive 2021 MotoGP season. Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and the world championship's returning king. Autosport picks out the year's 10 best riders
Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength
MotoGP News: Dorna Sports outlines plans to ensure paddock safety on return to racing
MotoGP News: Ducati has agreed deal with Martin as Miller's 2021 Pramac replacement