Petrucci will participate in the Dakar Rally 2021
The speed is still high, the adrenaline continues to rise – even protections like airbags stay in place – but Italian Danilo Petrucci, 31, will trade a visor for glasses and knee pads for knee pads when he converts. to a 2022 Tech3 KTM Factory Racing color rally bike.
Petrucci, who has racked up 10 podiums and two wins in his 10 seasons on the MotoGP grid, will make his life’s dream come true with the transition to the next stage of his elite racing career after the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana closing of the season. ‘Petrux’ is a skilled enduro and motocross off-roader, but knows that the discipline and the demands of rallying will be a big challenge.
Learning from some of the sport’s most successful riders and experts on the KTM team which has already achieved an outstanding 18 consecutive Dakar victories, Danilo began his rally preparation as he challenges himself to a MotoGP stint. in Dakar. 2018 Dakar winner Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and recently crowned FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Champion Matthias Walkner, two-time Dakar champion Toby Price and defending Dakar champion Kevin Benavides will be in the KTM team to help the MotoGP star to make his transition to the sport.
Danilo got a taste of the desert conditions aboard his KTM 450 RALLY and the incredibly difficult navigation required for rally racing in a recent test under the watchful eye of KTM sporting director Jordi Viladoms – a former successful competitor of the Dakar. After the MotoGP season Danilo’s attention will be fully focused on deepening his riding and navigation training before his first attempt at the 14-day, approximately 8,000 kilometer event, which kicks off on January 1.
The 2022 edition of the competition will take place in the Middle East for the third year in a row and allow Petrucci to be thrown into the depths of Dakar to learn and develop for the FIM 2022 competition and a potential future in the sport. .
“For me, running the Dakar is really a dream come true. It’s an event I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid watching the Dakar Rally videotapes of the 80s and 90s. Now, thanks to KTM, that dream is coming true. First of all, I would like to thank KTM for this great opportunity; I think I will be the only rider to have raced in a little over a month in MotoGP and then in the Dakar Rally. It is therefore with great pride that I go there. My main goal is just to finish the race and enjoy it. The first approach was to practice the road book with Jordi, he has participated in the race several times and finished on the podium, so he was great in helping me learn this special art. I had my first experience of riding the KTM 450 RALLY recently during a first test in the dunes of Dubai, where I was with the Dakar KTM champions and I was able to learn so much from them – it was great to see them ride, and they were super nice and helpful to me. I hope next month’s training will be sufficient; it will be a tough race for sure, but I’m excited.“
Pit Beirer, Director of KTM Motorsports
“Danilo’s talent and character make him one of the few elite-level guys who we think can make that drastic 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 “world”! “