Petrucci to join WSBK test ahead of likely MotoAmerica move

Danilo Petrucci is set to join Ducati for a pre-season World Superbike test at Portimao next month as he gets set for a potential move to MotoAmerica.

Petrucci to join WSBK test ahead of likely MotoAmerica move
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The ex-MotoGP racer will ride a V4 R Panigale at the Portuguese track on February 8-9 alongside a number of WSBK regulars, including factory Ducati racers Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi and last year's title protagonists Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki).

This is likely to be a prelude to a switch to MotoAmerica, where Petrucci would replace Loris Baz aboard the Warhorse HSBK Ducati.

Rumours have persisted of Petrucci reuniting with Ducati for a seat in a production-based championship since it became clear the Italian would not keep his place in MotoGP at Tech 3 KTM.

WSBK was initially thought to have been a logical destination, but Ducati's three customer teams - Barni Racing (Luca Bernardi), Motocorsa Racing (Axel Bassani) and Team Go Eleven (Philipp Oettl) - all have their riders in place for 2022.

However, a vacancy opened up at the Ducati-supported HSBK team in the United States when Baz was offered the chance to return to WSBK full-time this year with the satellite Bonovo BMW team.

Ousted BMW rider Tom Sykes had also been linked to the seat but his options now appear to have narrowed to a Pedercini Kawasaki WSBK deal or a long-anticipated return to British Superbike.

Petrucci was a member of the Ducati MotoGP stable for six seasons from 2015-20, initially as part of the Pramac squad before being promoted to the factory team in 2019 and winning two races.


He moved to KTM and Tech 3 for the 2021 campaign, but despite not being retained for 2022 his relationship with the Austrian manufacturer continued for this month's Dakar Rally.

Despite a total lack of rally-raid experience, and injuring his ankle in the build-up to the event, Petrucci won a stage - becoming the first ever MotoGP race winner to do so. However, a mechanical failure early on meant he retired and did not feature in the overall classification.


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