Danilo Petrucci closing on KTM deal for 2021 MotoGP season

Danilo Petrucci is close to finalising terms that will see him swap Ducati red for KTM orange in the 2021 MotoGP World Championship

Danilo Petrucci, Ducati, KTM

Danilo Petrucci is closing on an agreement that would keep him on the MotoGP World Championship grid for 2021 after holding productive talks with KTM.

Petrucci will lose his current ride with Ducati at the end of the 2020 MotoGP season after being ousted by Jack Miller in the team.

Initially it appeared Petrucci’s sole chance to remain on the grid was to hold out hope Andrea Iannone loses the appeal against his drugs ban and thus cede his Aprilia seat. Alternatively, Ducati was courting Petrucci to join its WorldSBK effort.

However, a lifeline appears to have been thrown amid talk Pol Espargaro is on his way out of KTM in favour of a move to the Repsol Honda team.

Leaving KTM with three young riders in Miguel Oliveira, plus rookies Brad Binder and Iker Lecuona, Petrucci fulfils the brief KTM sets by needing an experienced hand.

“We saw everything at KTM,” Petrucci’s manager Alberto Vergani told Speedweek.com. "The facilities are very impressive. Our expectations have been exceeded… We are now calmly waiting for KTM's next steps.

"As for Danilo, I can say that he was happy. Because the KTM company is huge and powerful. I see that they have the potential to achieve the results that they have set as their goal.

"If we can be part of this project in the future, this could be the right time to start working with KTM."