Danilo Petrucci is the hottest MotoGP property right now as two factory teams are circling the soon-to-be-ex-Ducati factory rider.
The Italian has been given the bum’s rush from Bologna as they prefer the combination of Andrea Dovizioso and Jack Miller, although the former has yet to be announced.
Another unannounced signing, that of Pol Espargaro to Repsol Honda, leaves KTM without a number one rider and Andrea Iannone’s doping conviction and subsequent war with WADA also makes a space at Aprilia.
It is these two places that are increasing Petrucci’s 2021 pay day right now and even Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna is in agreement: “It would be incomprehensible to me if KTM did not sign Danilo Petrucci.”
Petrucci has won a single GP - that of Mugello in front of a home crowd which sealed a contract extension into this year - but a lacklustre performance since then has seen his star on the wain.
He would have been destined for WorldSBK had not one but two works opportunities come along.
Espargaro’s shot at Honda is, apparently, sealed and delivered but not announced. It opens up a spot at KTM for 2021 for which Petrucci is the number one choice but there are also two Honda employees to consider.
Firstly, HRC have to do something with Alex Marquez for 2021. He is currently team-mate to big brother Marc at Repsol and Honda will want to keep him. So, the youngster could be shuffled into LCR which would shuffle out Britain’s Cal Crutchlow.
At 35, Crutchlow is the second oldest rider on the grid and has been talking retirement for the last couple of years. There has also rumour of a falling out with Honda cheeses over his reluctance to ride at Suzuka this year.