Danilo Petrucci is arguably one of the most dynamic motorcycle racers in the industry. With experience in all disciplines of two-wheeled racing—from MotoGP to Dakar Rally—it goes without saying the Petrux is incredibly talented aboard a bike, and pretty much sets himself up for success no matter where he races. Having said that, the latest news surrounding the Italian racer is that he’s headed over to the World SBK to race for Ducati.
Indeed, what started out as a rumor is now confirmed, with Danilo Petrucci inking a contract with the Barni Racing Team for the 2023 race season. Rumors of Petrucci jumping to the premiere class of the production-bases series have long been circulating. However, with the factory team renewing Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s spot for 2023, it seemed that Petrucci would no longer make the shift. As it would turn out, the Italian racer had a seat waiting for him at the Barni Racing Team, and he’ll be piloting the same Ducati Panigale V4 R as the factory racers.
Avid racing fans among you would know that this isn’t Petrucci’s first time with Barni. The Italian racer finished in second place in the Superstock 1000 class in 2011 with Barni prior to moving over to the MotoGP in 2012. In an article by Motorsport, Petrucci said that he was excited to be back with Barni, saying that 2011 was one of his best seasons. “I’m really pleased to be back with Barni. 2011 was one of my best ever seasons but, more importantly, I couldn’t say no to the chance to race in World Superbike with such a competitive bike.”
The entirety of Petrucci's time in the premier class was spent with Ducati, including two seasons with the Factory team. He won his first race with Ducati in Mugello in 2019 and added another victory to his resume at Le Mans the following year. After parting ways with Ducati at the end of the 2020 season, Petrucci switched to the rival European brand KTM. However, performance there fell short of expectations, and 2021 ended up being Petrucci's final season in the MotoGP. During the Thai GP in October 2022, however, Petrucci filled in for the injured Joan Mir, racing the Suzuki GSX-RR, a bike that Petrucci regarded as an incredible machine.