Danilo Petrucci will debut at the next Dakar Rally 2022 with KTM. The MotoGp rider, at the end of the season, decided to throw himself between stones and sand for a new exciting challenge.
For the thirty-one year old from Terni, a dream is about to come true: to race the Dakar 2022 with the colors of the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team! In his ten seasons in MotoGP Petrucci has collected 10 podiums and 2 victories, and after the Grand Prix Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana he will realize his lifelong dream, with the passage to "phase two" of his long racing history.
“Petrux” is as skilled in enduro as he is in motocross, but he knows that the discipline and demands of rallying will be a great challenge for him. For this reason Danilo will be accompanied on his transition path from MotoGP to the Dakar Rally from the phenomena of the official KTM Team, or the winner of the Dakar Rally 2018 and new FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion Matthias walkner, the two-time champion Toby Price and the defending champion Kevin Benavidez.
In a recent test aboard an official KTM 450 RALLY, Danilo got a taste of desert driving and above all the incredibly demanding navigation required for rally racing. Under the watchful eye of KTM Rally Sport Manager Jordi Viladoms, successful Dakar driver and coordinator of a squadron that has conquered the toughest competition in the world for 18 consecutive years, Petrucci has taken the measurements of his new motorcycle.
Season ended MotoGP, Danilo's attention will be fully focused on improving his driving and navigation education, in view of his first participation in the Dakar, the 14-day and approximately 8.000-kilometer event, which for the third consecutive year will take place in the Middle Oriente, with start on 1 January 2022.
Danilo Petrucci: “Racing the Dakar is really a dream come true. It is an event that I have always wanted to participate in since I was a child, when I was watching the videotapes of the editions disputed in the 80s and 90s. Now the dream is coming true. I thank KTM for this great opportunity; I will be the only rider who in just over a month has competed in MotoGP and then in the Dakar, so it is with great pride and humility that I come to the toughest rally in the world. My main goal is to finish the race and enjoy it. The first approach was to do some training from road book with Jordi Viladoms, who was fantastic in helping me learn this special art. In a recent test on the Dubai dunes I had a first taste of the KTM 450 RALLY and I had the pleasure and the great honor of riding with the official KTM riders: it was nice to see them dancing at maximum speed on the sand, and they proved to be all super nice and helpful with me. I hope the preparation for the next month is sufficient; for sure it will be a tough race, but I'm excited and impatient ”.
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsports Director: “Danilo's talent and character make him one of the few high-level drivers we believe can make this radical shift from asphalt to dunes. It's a great story for a great guy. We want to thank him for his professionalism and all his efforts as a member of the Tech3 Team in our MotoGP project, and now it's time for another challenge! "