Petrucci to make surprise MotoGP comeback with Suzuki in Thailand

Double MotoGP race winner Danilo Petrucci will make a surprise return to the series at the Thailand Grand Prix as Joan Mir’s replacement.

Petrucci to make surprise MotoGP comeback with Suzuki in Thailand

Mir, the 2020 MotoGP world champion, has been out of action since breaking his ankle in a lap one crash at the Austrian Grand Prix in August.

Sitting out the Misano round, Mir attempted to ride at Aragon but withdrew after Saturday and sat out last weekend’s Japanese GP too.

It was thought he would return for this weekend’s Thailand GP, but the recovery of his right ankle is taking longer than expected and he will now aim to be back on his Suzuki at the Australian GP in two weeks’ time. Instead, Suzuki has confirmed Mir will be replaced by ex-Ducati rider Petrucci.

“Needless to say, I’m so happy for the chance to race in Thailand with Team Suzuki Ecstar," Petrucci said. "I want to thank the team for giving me this fantastic opportunity.

"I also want to thank Ducati and my current team management for letting me take this stand-in ride. I’m really curious to jump on the GSX-RR and try it, it looks very fast and we know it’s a winning machine.

"I’m also eager to work with the Suzuki crew, that I’ve known for a long time now and we have a wonderful relationship. I know it won’t be easy, so I’m not putting any expectations on the experience, I just want to enjoy it.

"I’m also excited to be one of the few riders in history jumping from a MotoGP machine to a Dakar bike, a Superbike, then another factory MotoGP bike!”

Danilo Petrucci, Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC

Danilo Petrucci, Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC

Photo by: Brian J. Nelson

Petrucci made his MotoGP debut in 2012 and rose from a back-of-the-grid seat at Ioda on a CRT-spec machine to the factory Ducati squad in 2019. The Italian won twice in his tenure with Ducati before moving to Tech 3 KTM for 2021.

But a difficult season and desire from KTM to field its own up-and-coming riders in Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez led to Petrucci losing his place on the MotoGP grid. He remained with KTM for a maiden assault on the Dakar Rally, which yielded a stage win despite carrying injury into the event.

Petrucci had expected to continue with KTM to embark on a full rally raid programme in 2022, but this fell through and the Italian linked up with Ducati again to move to the MotoAmerica Superbike championship. He won five races for the Warhorse Ducati squad aboard a Panigale V4 and took the championship battle down to the wire in his first season.

Petrucci was asked by Suzuki to replace Mir at the San Marino Grand Prix earlier this month, but he elected to focus on his MotoAmerica title battle instead.

Suzuki brought in Japan Superbike racer Kazuki Watanabe as Mir’s stand-in at Misano, while test rider Takuya Tsuda was upgraded from wildcard status to fill in for Mir last weekend at Motegi.

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes
Previous article

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes

Next article

MotoGP announces race in Kazakhstan for 2023 season

MotoGP announces race in Kazakhstan for 2023 season
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Prime

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of more competition than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother Prime

Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Motorsport.com – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend.

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Prime

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Prime

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez.

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems Prime

Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character.

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Prime

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Prime

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness.

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022