Not finishing last in Thailand MotoGP return “means a lot” – Petrucci

Danilo Petrucci says not finishing last in his one-off appearance with Suzuki at the MotoGP Thailand Grand Prix “means a lot” to him.

Not finishing last in Thailand MotoGP return “means a lot” – Petrucci
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The double MotoGP race winner was called up to replace the injured Joan Mir at Buriram last weekend, coming straight from finishing second in the MotoAmerica Superbike championship the week before.

Petrucci qualified last and finished the rain-lashed race 20th, having had to set-up his bike “blind” for the conditions.

Admitting he would have liked to have scored at least one point, he is nevertheless proud of his return to MotoGP in Thailand.

“I didn’t have any luck in the wet on this bike, [it] was really, really tough,” Petrucci said. “I would like to thank the team for the great effort. They almost do the set-up blind because we didn’t know anything about the wet set-up.

“I’m happy I’m not last, this means a lot. The pace was good at the beginning, but then the track was drying up and I started to suffer with the front and the front pressure goes really, really high. I was not able to stay with [Fabio] Di Giannantonio, but in the end I managed to not make any mistakes.

“Maybe with the wet warm-up it would have been better, I would have liked to have score at least one point. But I’m happy, for me it has been a great pride to ride for Suzuki.”

Danilo Petrucci, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Danilo Petrucci, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Petrucci says Thailand was his last working weekend of the year, having retired from MotoGP in November last year and then immediately embarking on a Dakar assault before going to race in MotoAmerica with Ducati.

“No, holiday!” he declared when asked if he had any more plans for 2022. “I’m so, so tired. For me this was the last day of working this year, I promise.

“I would have stopped after the Dakar, but then I chose to go to MotoAmerica and then here. And so, I am really, really tired and I need a bit of rest. It feels like I raced the Dakar three years ago, and for me it’s already a big thing that I raced the Dakar, I won a stage and I raced with MotoGP in the same year.

“Eleven months [ago] I was in MotoGP, eight months ago I was at the Dakar, last week in the US on Superbikes.”

Petrucci added that he has options in MotoAmerica and World Superbikes for 2023, but hasn’t ruled out sitting on the sidelines to prepare for another Dakar outing in 2024. 

“Still nothing,” he said of his 2023 plans. “I have options in MotoAmerica and World Superbikes.

“Fortunately, I have to choose, but I need to understand if I want to continue or if I want to do no racing and prepare for the Dakar in 2024.”

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