Danilo Petrucci’s MotoGP career came to an end on November 14, 2021. At the season finale of the 2021 season, Petrucci made his last start in the premier class. The Italian couldn’t look forward to relaxing weeks after the Grand Prix in Valencia, because the next event was already set with the Dakar rally.
The Dakar adventure held delicate moments in store for Petrucci right from the start. At first it was unclear whether Petrucci could even start due to a positive corona test. A few days later, the Dakar adventure seemed to have run prematurely due to a technical defect. But Petrucci did not give up and surprised with a stage win.
The two-time MotoGP race winner thus attracted interest. For Dorna managing director Carmelo Ezpeleta, Danilo Petrucci’s strong Dakar debut is proof of how high the level of driving in MotoGP is now. Ezpeleta spoke about Petrucci’s achievements in the Dakar at the EFE Forum’s Sport Business Days.
Danilo Petrucci and Valentino Rossi ended their MotoGP careers in 2021
Photo: Motorsport Images
“We have the 24 best riders in the world in MotoGP. Danilo Petrucci is the proof. He impressed everyone with his performance at the Dakar 2022. He is one of the fastest drivers despite the dunes, the navigation and so on,” said Ezpeleta quoted by ‘GPOne’.
The void that Valentino Rossi is leaving in MotoGP
Ezpeleta didn’t just comment on Petrucci. The retirement of Valentino Rossi and the injury break of ex-champion Marc Marquez were topics on which the head of MotoGP rights holder Dorna spoke up.
“Everything that Rossi has sown will remain. He has built his own team. This will have a great sponsor who will support him even if Valentino is missing. But things like this have happened a few times in the history of motorcycling.” , Ezpeleta recalls the resignations of past champions.
Can Marc Marquez challenge the new generation again?
A new generation of young riders has already taken over the reins in MotoGP. World champion Fabio Quartararo is just 22 years old. The previous year, Joan Mir, a driver who was only 23 years old at the time of winning the title, prevailed.
Will Marc Marquez find his old strength after the forced break?
Photo: Motorsport Images
Marc Marquez celebrates his 29th birthday in February and is now one of the oldest riders in MotoGP. Will the Honda driver find his old strength in the 2022 season? “It’s not that Marc isn’t worried. But he can’t do anything,” explains Dorna CEO Ezpeleta, referring to Marquez’s eye injury.
“I think Marc will return and there won’t be any problems. But then there are the other riders. We’re talking about a new generation, excellent and young riders,” commented Ezpeleta before the MotoGP season 2022.
With images from KTM.