MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Petrucci: “I don’t want Ducati to put me against Dovizioso”
The rumour that Jack Miller will join the factory Ducati team in 2021 puts Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso in competition for the second factory Ducati seat. Petrucci tells us about his hopes for the 2020 season, his 2019 Mugello victory and his plans to do the Dakar
The MotoGP rumour mill usually does its work in the darker corners of the paddock, where journalists, rider managers and team managers arrange secret assignations under cover of team artics, during which they whisper the latest news (and lies).
This year is different: FaceTime, WhatsApp and Zoom is where it’s all happening.
Last week the rumours were all about Jack Miller and Danilo Petrucci, specifically about the Aussie taking the Italian’s factory Ducati ride from the end of this year.
Ducati promoting Miller to its factory team is no surprise. The 25-year-old has got everything going for him: he’s super quick, he’s young and he’s light, which is important when the racing is so close that the tiniest difference in performance can make a big difference to results. Miller also grew up riding dirt track, like Casey Stoner, so he’s a master of using the rear brake as a go-faster tool, like Ducati’s 2007 MotoGP champion.
If Miller does join the factory squad then Ducati will have to get rid of Petrucci, or his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, who has won 13 times more races for Ducati than Petrucci.
Sadly for Petrucci – one of the funniest, most engaging riders on the MotoGP grid – this decision would seem to be a no-brainer. However, it’s worth remembering that Ducati got rid of Jorge Lorenzo to hire Petrucci just two hours after the Spaniard won his first race for the factory at Mugello in 2018, so who knows what might happen in the coming weeks and months? Especially since Dovizioso has a frosty relationship with Ducati Corse chief Gigi Dall’Igna.
The latest Petrucci rumour has Ducati moving the 29-year-old sideways into its World Superbike squad, but what does the man himself say?
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.