Petrucci returns to MotoGP as Suzuki stand-in

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Danilo Petrucci returns to MotoGP action this weekend as stand-in for Suzuki’s Joan Mir at the Thai Grand Prix.

As 2020 Champion Mir continues to struggle with the right ankle injury he suffered at the Austrian GP in August - which includes a fracture to the talus bone and ligament damage - a recent MRI scan has ruled him out of this weekend’s visit to Buriram in Thailand.

Following stand-in rides from Kazuki Watanabe and Takuya Tsuda in the San Marino and Japanese GPs respectively, the next rider to jump onboard the GSX-RR will be Ducati’s current MotoAmerica rider Petrucci. Affectionately known as Petrux, the 31-year-old made ten visits to the MotoGP podium sitter, including two victories, during his premier class career before leaving MotoGP at the end of 2021.

A direct jump to the legendary Dakar Rally saw him become the first ever former GP victor to take a stage win at the infamous desert race, before heading across the pond to compete in MotoAmerica. After securing five wins, he narrowly missed out on the championship crown at last weekend’s season finale.

Now he’s ready to step onto Suzuki’s MotoGP machine for another shot in the premier class.

“Needless to say, I’m so happy for the chance to race in Thailand with Team Suzuki Ecstar,” Petrucci said on the announcement. “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!”