Danilo Petrucci set for Superbike switch in Ducati MotoAmerica move

MotoGP race winner and Dakar star Danilo Petrucci drops a clear hint that he will race in the MotoAmerica Superbike series on the factory Ducati 

Danilo Petrucci - Tech 3 KTM

Danilo Petrucci has all-but-confirmed he will swap MotoGP for Superbikes in 2022 with a move to the MotoAmerica series with factory Ducati backing.

The Italian has dominated the headlines in the weeks following the end of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship season, where he was completing his final races after being dropped by Tech 3 KTM for 2022.

Since then the two-time MotoGP race winner has been focusing attention on an ambitious switch to rally-raiding with an entry into the Dakar Rally, while he has also been the subject of speculation regarding a move to the MotoAmerica series.

While the Italian says a formal decision will be made after his Dakar adventure is completed, he made it clear to reporters in Saudi Arabia that he is leaning towards a US switch.

“I made the condition that I can make the final decision during the Dakar,” he said, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. 

“The team pushed me a lot because the North American market is very important for Ducati. The team wants to prove that it can be competitive and that it can be among the leaders of this championship.”

The deal - which would see the Italian renew ties with the Ducati fold he spent the  majority of his MotoGP career with - will see Petrucci ride the Dark Horse HSBK Ducati Panigale V4 R with full factory backing. 

It was the machine Loris Baz rode to fourth in the standings during his first season, behind American riders Jake Gagne, Mathew Scholtz and Cameron Petersen.

Petrucci’s arrival in the USA will be a major coup for MotoAmerica, which has steadily recovered its reputation and status globally since it was rebranded from AMA. Other notable additions have included ex-MotoGP riders Toni Elias and Hector Barbera, but Petrucci would be the first to make the direct switch and could be positioned for a move into WorldSBK for 2023.

The deal is also set to take a seat off the table for Tom Sykes, who was understood to be Ducati’s next choice if Petrucci turned its offer down. The 2013 WorldSBK Champion is tipped to land in BSB with VisionTrack Ducati.