After impressing in recent rounds in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Danilo Petrucci will remain on the grid next season with the Barni Spark Racing Team as he looks to make his own bit of history. The Italian has become a regular podium contender since a breakthrough round in June and will look to build on that as he stays with Barni Ducati; a squad he has enjoyed a lot of success with in the past as they battled for the STK1000 title as well as taking three podiums in the first nine rounds of his debut year.
PETRUCCI IMPRESSES IN HIS ROOKIE SEASON: three podiums for the Italian
The #9 was with Marco Barnabo’s team in STK1000 back in 2011 when he fought for the title, finishing two points behind Davide Giugliano, before he made the switch to MotoGP™. He remained there until 2021, winning two races for Ducati, before a new adventure with KTM at the Dakar Rally where he won a stage. In the same year, 2022, Petrucci battled for the MotoAmerica title with Ducati before committing to Barni Ducati and WorldSBK for 2023.
The two-time MotoGP™ race winner has been a regular fixture in the top ten, but it wasn’t until Misano in June where his real speed and potential was on display. Despite the results not coming on home soil, he took his first WorldSBK podium at Donington Park with third before adding two more to his collection at the Autodrom Most. When WorldSBK resumed after the mid-season break, Petrucci was on course for three top-five finishes before a late technical issue in Race 2 at Magny-Cours dropped him to seventh.
With Petrucci’s goal of winning in WorldSBK, MotoGP™, MotoAmerica, the Dakar Rally, STK600 and STK1000 still a possibility – he needs just the WorldSBK win for a place in the history books – he has re-signed with the Barni Ducati team for 2024 on the Panigale V4 R. With a year’s experience under his belt with the bike, tyres, and circuits, Petrucci will be aiming to end his rookie season on a high before kicking on strongly in his second campaign.
IN HIS OWN WORDS: “It’s my dream to become one of the riders who has won a race in MotoGP™ and WorldSBK”
Discussing his contract renewal, and his goals for 2024, he said: “I’m so happy. This year was a big challenge for me to race in a World Championship again, at the highest level. It was tough at the beginning. I was not sure whether it was a good move to come here but then, after a few races, we found a good feeling with the team and we had some good results. Both sides, me and Barni, want to go again for another year with an even better bike and more support from Ducati and, especially, more experience with this bike, the tyre and this team. We are aiming for a big, big challenge. I think it’s possible to step on the podium as many times as possible at the end of the season. I can’t wait to finish this season and start the new one with a lot of challenges. It’s important to always be there, like we are doing this season in the second part. We are always in the top five so it’s good. We are missing just a small step to be consistently in the middle to fight with the ‘Titanic Trio’. I’m convinced that, with one more full year of experience, we can do even better next year. I want to score a win because it’s my biggest challenge. It’s my dream to become one of the riders who has won a race in MotoGP™ and WorldSBK.”
BARNABO SAYS: “When our adventure with Danilo began, I was already thinking about carving a pathway with him
Team Principal Marco Barnabo was thrilled to have ‘Petrux’ signed up for a second campaign. He said: “I’m very pleased to renew this contract. When our adventure with Danilo began, I was already thinking about carving a pathway with him. I knew it wouldn’t be easy at first, because the level of the Championship is high – something that’s not always perceived from the outside – but I also knew that if we worked hard, we could do very well, and that has proved to be true. We’ve modified the bike to suit Danilo’s needs, he in turn has adapted too and, now that we’re competitive, the logical thing is to continue together to try and reap the rewards of this work, during both what remains of this season and next year too. The work team will remain just as it is for this very reason. I want to thank the rider for putting his trust in us, the guys on the team who are all working so hard, and all the sponsors who have decided to support us to ensure that Danilo can also remain.”
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