Danilo Petrucci faced all of 2020 as separated at home within Ducati. After Covid meant the first rounds of the championship were cancelled, everyone's programs were completely revolutionized but at least Danilo was able to work for the future, also thanks to the correctness of Gigi Dall'Igna. Petrucci explained everything in an interview with our Speedweek colleagues, in which he also confessed to having already stepped on the RC16 more than once.
The signature with KTM came in mid-June and this was only possible thanks to the correct behaviour of Gigi Dall'Igna.
"First of all, I have to thank Gigi Dall'Igna again - said Petrucci - for telling me so early, in the spring, that I would have to look for a new team for the future. So I had the opportunity to talk to other manufacturers. In the end, I was happy that Ducati threw me out so soon, because I found a new team right away. Ducati's decision was therefore an advantage for everyone involved. This is why I continue to have a good relationship with everyone at Ducati. "
However, KTM was by no means a fallback…
"My goal was always to ride with KTM. I have always liked it as a manufacturer. Now I can reveal that it is the only brand I have bought personal bikes from. Because I love KTM dirt bikes! I have always admired the work that KTM do. They race in many championships and in many different disciplines and they win wherever they decide to participate. I have always wanted to race for them. Of course I would have preferred to get there thanks to my sporting successes and not because of rider market movements. But when you are a professional rider , you have to take advantage of the opportunities that arise ".
Obviously, the rider from Terni has been unable to test the RC16 on the track, but at least he had time to get his seat fitting taken.
"We have taken all the measurements on the bike well before starting the tests. We also prepared a specific seat for me and my position on the seat was well detected. I have also been in the wind tunnel in Cologne. Now I can confess: I have already tested the bike three times. Unfortunately, the engine was never started up! "
Petrucci also talked about the feelings he experienced on his first visit to the Austrian Factory.
"It was very impressive. It was very nice, we were given a warm welcome when we sat down at the table with Pit Beirer, Mike Leitner and Jens Hainbach. I was allowed to visit the entire Racing Department, it was really like a boutique. It was amazing, a dream. I have never been to a racing department like this, where you can see all the racing bikes with all the technicians at work. I was allowed to look at everything, all the bikes, all the engines. It was really impressive. An unforgettable day. "
The deal came about the old-fashioned way, perhaps the best way to sign a contract…
"I will always remember it. Because in the afternoon, when we said goodbye, we symbolically shook hands and verbally agreed on a good contract. I had the feeling that our interlocutors at KTM were as happy as I was. During the day, I went through the KTM racing department and I got on a factory Dakar motorcycle ... Then the meeting in Pit’s office followed. It was a very pleasant afternoon. I felt reassured all the time. After a long time I found people who really trust my abilities and want to work with me. It is important for me to be part of this KTM project now. "