Jorge Lorenzo’s departure to HRC has paved the way for Petrucci to make the step up to the factory team from the Alma Pramac squad, where he is currently riding a GP18 – the same as Dovizioso and Lorenzo. Now though, after an impressive start to the season, the 27-year-old will make Ducati an all-Italian line up for 2019. 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.