Danilo Petrucci heading off-road, no ‘satisfying’ WorldSBK offers on table

Danilo Petrucci says he will continue discussions with KTM over a Dakar 2023 role after receiving no 'satisfying' offers to join the 2022 WorldSBK grid

Danilo Petrucci - Tech 3 KTM

Danilo Petrucci says he won’t be pursuing the WorldSBK Championship option for the next stage in his racing career due to a lack of ‘satisfying’ offers, with KTM’s proposal to move into off-road competition now his preferred choice.

The Italian is currently seeking a ride for the 2022 season after he and Iker Lecuona were ousted from their Tech 3 Racing KTM seats in favour of Moto2 graduates Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez.

Accepting he won’t be racing in MotoGP next season, Petrucci had been linked with a switch to WorldSBK with many drawing comparisons to the success of his former Pramac Ducati team-mate Scott Redding.

It isn’t the first time the Italian has been tipped for the production series with Ducati reportedly offering a WorldSBK alternative for 2021 prior to him penning a deal with KTM. However, this time around Petrucci’s options are limited, with only Honda offering up a reputable works seat.

With this in mind, Petrucci says he will continue discussing with KTM the possibility to changing discipline altogether with the aim of competing in the 2023 Dakar Rally.

"I have no big updates," he said. "For sure I talk with KTM. We are starting to plan something for the off road in the future. At the moment I have no news apart from this.

"Sincerely it’s the thing I want the most, I really enjoy riding those [off road] bikes.

"At the end I haven’t (got) any offer from Superbike. Nothing that really can be satisfying for me. So then we must continue in this way. At least KTM proposed to me something that I like and I would like to join them.

"I spoke with some riders from rally. It’s the opposite of my world [in MotoGP]. Sometimes you sleep in a tent and wake up at 4am and start the stage at 5am maybe doing 500km to get to a special stage.

"At the end for sure it’s a thing I want. I recognise that in MotoGP you watch and speak about the data more than you ride the bike!

"For me [off road] is what I love the most, riding the bike in very, very different conditions and terrains.

"More riding bikes and less speaking and posting photos!”