Aprilia has emerged as an option for Danilo Petrucci, according to his manager Alberto Vergani, in the wake of the Italian losing his position within Ducati.
Rumours have been circulating recently that Ducati had decided to drop Petrucci from its MotoGP line-up in favour of Pramac satellite man Miller following the former’s struggles to find speed across the second half of 2019 following his debut win at Mugello.
It was confirmed on Wednesday that Miller will race for the Ducati factory team in 2021, with Petrucci’s manager Vergani confirming he would be the one to make way.
Speaking to GPOne.com, Vergani revealed that he had already told Petrucci that he was no longer part of the factory Ducati set-up, calling the decision “strange”.
“Danilo is currently out of the Ducati project in MotoGP,” said Vergani.
“Ducati has decided to focus on a rider like Miller, who has long been a pet project for [Ducati boss Gigi] Dall’igna and for Danilo there is no place in the factory team.
“It is very strange, given that he won at Mugello last year, in front of [Andrea] Dovizioso and [Marc] Marquez, he always worked hard putting his head down to get certain results.”
Vergani then went on to outline two choices for the future of Petrucci’s career.
“Ducati could reposition him in (World) Superbike with Aruba and consequently we are evaluating this.
“At the same time, I also started talking with Aprilia, but at the moment there is nothing concrete.
“A lot will depend on what (Andrea) Iannone will do in 2021 and how the situation related to his disqualification will evolve.”
Vergani confirmed that Petrucci’s lack of speed across the second part of ’19 was the main instigator for the switch, but reckoned Petrucci had done everything asked from him in his sole campaign with the squad.
“It wasn’t easy when I told him (about losing the Ducati ride), but this is the situation and there isn’t much that can be done about it.
“When Danilo joined the factory team, nobody asked him to win the world championship.
“He has worked hard and in an honest way, at Mugello he achieved a victory that will go down in history.
“Unfortunately the market was decided on the basis of the second part of last season.”
Dovizioso poised for Ducati stay
Vergani also briefly waded in on the rumours that Andrea Dovizioso was looking to move away from the Bologna-based manufacturer for ’21, with KTM a mooted destination.
“Dovizioso will remain in Ducati in my opinion,” added Vergani.
“I’m 99 per cent sure Andrea will not leave the Rossa (Ducati), but that he will stay where he is now.”