In our LIVE interviewer with Danilo Petrucci (which you can see in full above) the topics touched were many and we thought it was worth splitting everything Petrux – who in these days is taking part in the first Dakar of his career – told us into two parts. From a future on the track in MotoAmerica, to the messages received from his two-wheel colleagues who are passionate about Danilo's efforts, also in this case Petrucci gave us a nice insight into his present and possible future.
"These days, a lot of riders have been asking me about the Dakar - Danilo told us - I spoke to Valentino, who asked me how things were and I told him I'd like to do it with him at the wheel and I would be his navigator. A racer like him could win it, but I'm not sure it's possible to do it with me as a navigator. Valentino is not very compatible with the hours they have in the Dakar, but the cars start later so maybe we can do it, it would be cool. "
You are the first ex-MotoGP rider to win a stage in the Dakar, an impressive result. Even a four-wheel champion like Alonso, didn’t succeed...
"Here we have Coma who is a supervisor and was Alonso's navigator. At the Dakar Fernando finished third in a stage, when I did it I went to Coma and told him that I too had managed to make a third place like Alonso, so now we are the same except for a couple of world championships in F1 and a few hundred million euros in the bank account! I actually did even better and yesterday I took a picture with Jacky Ickx, who won both F1 and to the Dakar and is a legend ".
But now do you see your future off-road, or is the lure of the track too strong?
"As for my future, let's say that now I'm a quick-change worker. A bit like those who work as a plumber, a gardener, a bricklayer. I do whatever I can find!".
It looks like you have found MotoAmerica with Ducati…
"MotoAmerica? It's not official yet, but you clearly already know it. It's a decision I had made before the Dakar, but I asked for it to be announced after the end. First of all out of respect, then because I wanted to enjoy it and that's all. Now we have to see what they are doing here (probably Danilo means in KTM, ed.) but there have been some things that I didn't like over the last year and also how this operation was handled. While there were also some things that pleased me from my former employers, so for that reason I preferred tortellini to Wiener Schnitzel!".
Maybe we'll see you in Portimao in February, when they do the SBK tests there…
"In Portimao maybe I go on vacation, it's nice in the Algarve, the temperature is always mild at that time of year (laughs)".
You didn’t have a good 2021, do you think there is also a part of your competitive anger behind these good results for the Dakar?
"Yes, I think I can go so fast here also because of all the competitive anger accumulated this season. Here I can be selfish, think only of myself and push to the limit when I can. In certain phases I can be faster than the absolute specialists and this gives me an incredible satisfaction ".
Some observers say that this is no longer the real Dakar. Would you like to do it without the assistance of the teams, as it once was?
"I would like to do it as it once was. With some friends, to share the adventure and stay two weeks away from the world. You don't know what day it is here, you are on another planet for a few days. Racing without assistance would be challenging, but also really great".