Riding in the premier class of MotoGP is the dream of most young motorcycle riders. However, getting to the top is only half the battle. Staying in the category is even more difficult. Danillo Petrucci has enjoyed his 10 year career in MotoGP with teams like Pramac Ducati, Ducati Factory Team and Tech 3 KTM.
Sadly, a year aboard the KTM satellite ended the 31-year-old’s career in road racing, but that doesn’t stop the number 9 from tackling the Dakar rally. As Petrucci prepares for the Saudi Arabian desert, he explains why the world of rallying is well suited for someone of his age and stature.
âI’ve always been enthusiastic about it,â admitted Petrucci. âAnyway, I have a great passion for everything in the racing world. I can’t be competitive internationally in motocross or enduro, but I could have an advantage on the Dakar.
“I’m old and heavy in MotoGP, but I’m one of the lightest and youngest in rallying, I might have to see if I’m four or five to be competitive and enjoy it, but thanks to KTM i can make my dream come true and compete in the toughest race in the world.
Despite Petrux’s difficulties on the KTM MotoGP motorcycle, the brand fully supported the Italian rider for Dakar. Even KTM team principal Jordi Viladoms helped train Petrucci for the grueling desert race.
“I’m very proud of it, it makes me very happy,” said Petrucci. âWe signed a contract before they saw me on a rally bike. So you have a lot of confidence.
While Petrucci is excited about his participation in the Dakar, he is realistic about his goals. The two-time MotoGP race winner knows it will take time to win the toughest race in the world.
âThis year we definitely can’t watch the performance,â Petrucci told Speedweek. âBut on the human side, it will be a whole different experience, three weeks somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I think I’ll have a lot of time to think. “