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French MotoGP | Danilo Petrucci ready to roll back the years at Le Mans


Danilo Petrucci admits he is taking 'great pride' from receiving the opportunity to not only return to the factory Ducati squad for Round 5 of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship at Le Mans, but he'll do so at one of the two venues he tasted race-winning success.

Back in Ducati red some two years after the Italian parties (somewhat acrimoniously) went heir separate ways, Petrucci is full of anticipation to rejoin forces with MotoGP's most potent superpower right now.

Better still, he gets his comeback in France, where he scored a fine victory in cool, wet conditions back in 2020.


“It’s a great pride for me return,” said Danilo. “Last time I went to Le Mans with Ducati I won the race. First of all, I would like to see Enea fit as soon as possible because he’s a great guy and he deserves to fight for the win. Then I think it’s a great pride to my career there in Ducati.

"I think at the end I always had a good relationship with all the team. For this reason, last year I did a race with Suzuki. This year with the Ducati. For sure, at least now in Ducati, they know my body position. The bike is more or less the same. Also on the ergonomics side.

"So, that is a track that I like. I just want to have fun, and especially it doesn’t happen not so often to try a world champion bike. So, I'm so sorry for the test we have next week, but I don't know, maybe this is my last MotoGP race so I couldn’t say no to this offer.”

Coming after he made a one-off appearance with Suzuki in Thailand last year, Petrucci - currently in the midst of his maiden WorldSBK campaign with Barni Ducati - is optimistic of acclimatising to the championship leading Ducati GP23 more swiftly than the Suzuki GSX-RR.

“At the end I know where are all the buttons to push, he smiled. “Also they have a lot of data from the past, but it’s just simple things because just having the same riding position as I had is a big thing, because you can save a lot of time.

"Especially the engine configuration is a V4. I always ride a V4. Last year with Suzuki we had any idea, and also on my side I remember so well the first braking area. I brake, I look in a way and the bike goes in another way. So, it was quite difficult to adapt myself.

"Also the race was a nightmare because we started with no data on the wet. So, we start to say, okay, “Try to finish the race,” they told me. This year at the end, I don’t have any expectation. I just want to have fun, but I have fun when I’m fast. So, I would like to be fast.”

CLICK HERE for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship standings ahead of Round 5, the French MotoGP

Additional reporting by Ollie Barstow

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