Petrucci’s 10-year career in MotoGP is a true rags-to-riches story. The Italian started in 2012 with the underfunded and pathetically lost Ioda CRT machine before finally being given a Ducati factory headquarters in 2019.
The Italian won two races for Ducati in 2019 and 2020 before moving to Tech3 KTM that year and losing Petrucci his place for 2022.
Petrucci was hugely popular with the fans and in the paddock, but believes he might have had a longer career in MotoGP had he been less personable.
“During my career in MotoGP 10 years, but I’ve been here since my dad worked; I think I went to this paddock for the first time 25 years ago, more or less,” said Petrucci.
“I think the reason for this is that you can’t be loved and respected at the same time.
“Maybe I was loved but not respected.
“So, over the years I’ve really worked with a lot of people, I’ve talked to a lot of people and it’s really difficult for me to go through the paddock because I say ‘hello’, I stop to talk a lot by people because I never shouted into the box or always took responsibility.
“When the results weren’t coming, I always put myself in the spotlight to improve myself without yelling or yelling at others for something or a reason for the results.
“I think I had a long career, maybe it could have been longer if I started yelling at someone and not taking my responsibility like some other drivers might do.
“But I never acted [like anything else], I’ve always acted like me, never tried to do anything else here or outside of here.
“But the reason is that you can’t be both loved and respected.”
Danilo Petrucci, KTM Tech3
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Petrucci will compete in the Dakar Rally with KTM and Tech3 next year and is linked to a ride in MotoAmerica for 2022.
In MotoGP Tech3 will compete with a completely new line-up of Moto2 World Champion 2021 Remy Gardner and runner-up Raul Fernandez.
The couple’s days in MotoGP got off to a frosty start, however, after Fernandez told Motorsport.com’s Spanish-language sister site that he felt he was the “moral champion” of Moto2 and that the Ajo team was in his way.
When Motorsport.com asked Gardner for an answer, Fernandez’s comments were “bullshit”.