Tech3 KTM rider Danilo Petrucci could be on his way to the most unlikeliest of disciplines when he leaves MotoGP at the end of the season, with an offer to race in the Dakar Rally.
The Italian has lost his race seat for the 2022 season after KTM chose to promote its Moto2 duo, Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner, but he could remain within the KTM family after its CEO made an offer for him to take part in Dakar.
“It’s true and I think it was an idea from [KTM CEO, Stefan] Pierer and he proposed that to me that on Saturday night,” confirmed Petrucci.
“I thought he was joking, but he was not. We started to talk and then two days ago Pit [Bierer, KTM motorsport boss] called me and repeated to me more or less what they told me on Saturday.
“There is this option that I’m taking really on my mind because I always would like to race there.”
Petrucci said the offer to race was for 2023, but he could join the squad next year to scope out what was involved in competing in the harshest of endurance races.
“He [Bierer] said, ‘We are ready for 2022’, but he did say, ‘We can send you there if you like to just watch the panorama and the landscapes, because we think it’s quite dangerous if you go there to race [straight away]’.
“Then I have all of one year to make training and do some races, and from 2023 maybe be more competitive. I was really, really happy to know that.
“It’s one of the options of my future that I have and for sure I really want to thank them for this kind of option.”
The 2022 event is set to take place in Saudi Arabia, starting on January 2.