What will Danilo Petrucci's future be? We talked about it with Alberto Vergani, the manager of the Terni rider who was the guest of our recent live chat. We talked with him about the various market negotiations going on in MotoGP and Superbike, but at the same time recalled some background anecdotes related to the champions of the past.
Obviously, the hot topic was represented by Danilo. What will become of him in view of 2021? Aprilia? KTM? Or Superbike?
"In Aprilia, of course, they hope that Iannone's situation will be resolved in the best possible way - said Vergani - we are still outside the window looking in for Superbike even though the idea is to stay in MotoGP".
Alberto let's go in order. How come Ducati chose Miller?
"Jack is a favourite of Dall'Igna and his name has been around for some time. Maybe KTM made an offer to Miller and Ducati didn't want to waste time, closing the deal. Aside from Miller, there is also the possibility of Lorenzo returning to Ducati. Lorenzo aside, I am of the opinion that they should renew with Dovizioso, then if there is no agreement, they can also decide about a return for Jorge. Lorenzo certainly did not retire last year in Valencia, I am sure of this, he cannot leave the scene in that way”.
Vergani: "Petrucci took Ducati’s decision badly"
How did Petrucci take the news of no longer being a part of Ducati's plans?
“He took this news badly, but in the end, he has accepted the decision, trying to be confident for the future. In Ducati, however, he did exactly what he was asked to do, that is to win a race and be Dovi's partner without putting a spanner in the works".
At the same time there is also talk of Superbike…
"Superbike is an excellent alternative, even though Aprilia and KTM are the only solutions to stay in MotoGP."
In the last few hours there is talk of the possibility of seeing Pol Espargarò alongside Marquez in 2021...
“In the past Puig always spoke well about Pol and this intrigued me. For sure, giving up on someone like Alex Marquez, I think it might be strange after the recent deal. ”
Vergani: "There is still no Superbike offer from Ducati to Petrucci"
Going back to Danilo: Ducati has offered him a place in SBK with Aruba…
"At the moment there is no offer from Ducati, it’s just an idea. Nor are there any offers in MotoGP. So we’ll see what is on the table in the future and then we will understand how to move. Certainly, Danilo gave his best in MotoGP and in the end, he was given the push. It is as if they have punched him in the face. Among other things, due to the virus, he has not even been able to get on the bike to show his worth ".
Is it fair to say that Ducati never believed 100% in Danilo?
“Ducati never fully believed in Petrucci. The fact is that, when there was a contract to be renewed, Danilo was able to obtain excellent results on the track. An example is the Mugello victory. Other than that, if Jorge had not left Ducati, Petrucci's story with Ducati would probably have been different. It is clear, however, that the second part of the 2019 season weighed heavily on Ducati’s decision to give up on Danilo".
How does a manager live this situation?
“The pain goes away when you have the tooth taken out. At the moment the only thing we can do is wait, without having to urgently take a decision. For the rest we can only say thanks to Ducati for what they did with Danilo: he managed to win with that bike. Life is like this and as a result we will see. There are still ten races left and Petrux will be able to get some other satisfaction, perhaps as Checa did in the past with Gibernau ".
Remaining on the subject of the market: two years ago Aprilia were looking for Petrucci…
"In that case there was an offer on the table. Together with Danilo, however, we thought it was difficult to leave a Ducati with which he had been fighting for podiums ”.
Vergani: "I asked Stoner what he thought of Miller": "He is not a world champion"
Do you think Ducati still believes in Dovizioso, despite Miller’s arrival?
“Jack has talent, but Ducati is convinced about Dovi. Jack's choice is more with a view to the future. Some time ago I asked Casey for a comment on Miller and he said, "He's not a world champion." Certainly, Jack did some good races, even if his only victory was that at Assen, when the race restarted after Petrucci was in the lead ".
What do you think of the Iannone affair?
"I am amazed, since until recently there was great optimism. It is undoubtedly a complicated story and we will see what will happen ".
Vergani: "Miller is a fair rider: he won't bother Dovi"
What do you think of the Miller-Dovi pairing compared to the one in the past with Iannone-Dovi?
"The way I see it, Jack is a fair rider and I don't think he will bother Dovi. He is a loyal guy and I don't think they’ll be any sparks between the two in 2021 ".
Why aren’t MotoGP riders convinced about going to SBK?
"Because Superbike is second division. One example is the spectators, or the budgets, or the appeal. Salaries are lower, although in MotoGP not all riders earn the same as Marquez. "
Vergani: "Bagnaia was shocked by Quartararo, this year he will have to be fast"
How do you rate the past season of a rider like Bagnaia?
"Last year Pecco was shocked by Quartararo and this year he will be required to be fast. The Ducati is one of the best bikes, but it must be ridden hard. In the past many riders suffered on the red bikes, like Lorenzo, Melandri and Valentino. The Yamaha is certainly easier, as is the Suzuki. "
Going back to the market, Honda has amazed everyone this year with a four-year deal for Marquez…
“Honda did like Ferrari with Leclerc. I say this because the Marquez-Honda combination is unrepeatable. Suppo once said to me: it costs me less to pay a rider, than to change a bike to make it one second faster ".
And about Stoner, is there a background anecdote from the past that you can tell us?
“Casey is unique and unrepeatable. When we had to renew the agreement with Nolan, doubling the contract he said to me: "You know that everyone wants me, but you also know that I don't give a damn about the others. So put the amount you want on the contract." Someone like this is nothing short of brilliant. Then I remember that comment he made to Rossi in Jerez. "
In recent days, Cecchinello has shown a certain interest in Petrucci…
“We also spoke to Lucio last year. In the past, Livio Suppo suggested him to Honda ".
Apart from Ducati, as far as SBK is concerned, is there any other team that has come forward?
"I can confirm that someone else has already come forward, even if at the moment it is better to wait and see.”