SBK, Superbike 2021, Ducati aiming for a Redding-Petrucci 'Dream Team'

Miller already has a guaranteed seat in the factory MotoGP team, but at Borgo Panigale they don't want to abandon Danilo, his arrival in SBK would do wonders for the paddock


The season has yet to start in MotoGP, but the market is certainly not hanging around. Marquez’s four-year deal in Honda, as well as Yamaha with two-year contracts for Vinales and Quartararo, with the addition of test rider Lorenzo, are in fact a shining example of what’s going on. In fact, the two Japanese manufacturers made their moves well in advance, leaving Ducati high and dry...

The top guys are all sorted and as a result the Italian manufacturer is forced to look for an in-house solution. At the moment everything revolves around Andrea Dovizioso, who in recent years has been the only one able to cause any bother for Marc Marquez. A confirmation of the Man from Forlì is a foregone conclusion, even if there might still be some problems to be sorted out regarding his retainer fee.

In fact, in Ducati these are no longer times of abundance, like they were a few years ago, when deals of around 25 million were placed on the table for a champion of the calibre of Jorge Lorenzo.

Now the budgets are smaller and as a result it is not at all easy to challenge a manufacturer like KTM, which is interested in securing Dovizioso’s services for 2021. In short, the matter seems more complicated than expected, even though Ducati has already started to hedge its bets. Indiscretions are pointing towards a place in the factory team for next year in all probability for Jack Miller, who seems to have earned the confidence of team boss Gigi Dall’Igna.

In this game of musical chairs, despite the fact that the World Championship is yet to get underway, Danilo Petrucci is undoubtedly the man who risks the most. Just think that Petrux, in this period twelve months ago, was winning at Mugello ahead of Marquez and Dovizioso. It's strange, really strange for the Terni rider, who in 2019 faded away in the second half of the season in comparison with the Australian rider of the Pramac team.

Danilo therefore appears almost to be a condemned man, even before going to trial for the sentence. The fact is however that in Ducati they don't want to abandon him in any case. As we can rule out his return to the Pramac satellite team managed by Francesco Guidotti, at Borgo Panigale they are considering repositioning him in Superbike for 2021, alongside Scott Redding.

Danilo's eventual arrival in Aruba would lead to an inevitable farewell for Chaz Davies. Should the World Championship get underway again, Chaz will have about five or six races to confirm that he deserves a shot of confidence on the official V4R. It’s a very tough challenge indeed judging by what we have seen so far. The question is in fact quite simple: if Aruba has to deprive itself of Chaz, it will need a top-class rider and not a gamble for next year’s campaign. Petrucci could therefore be the right profile, not only for the sporting aspects, but also regarding sponsors and image, as well as TV.

For years, an Italian rider capable of fighting for the world title and capable of captivating attention has been missing from Superbike. Maybe 2021 could be the right year and Petrucci the man of destiny that everyone is waiting for…

Provided, of course, that Petrucci wants this future and does not, however, find a ride somewhere else. After all, KTM still has to sort itself out and Aprilia still doesn't know how things will end up with Iannone…



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