New Ducati signing Petrucci turned down 2020 option in MotoGP deal
|By Oriol Puigdemont, Lena Buffa and Valentin Khorounzhiy||Thursday, June 21st 2018, 11:28 GMT|
New factory Ducati MotoGP signing Danilo Petrucci says he turned down a 2020 option in his deal with the works outfit.
Ducati has called up Pramac rider Petrucci as replacement for the Honda-bound Jorge Lorenzo for next year, but confirmed the Italian would be on a one-year deal only - instead of a two-year contract like every other factory rider on the 2019 grid.
"They proposed one year plus one," Petrucci explained at Barcelona. "But I only wanted one.
"For many reasons. First of all, because with this I have nothing to lose. If I do well next year, I can renegotiate a better contract."
But Petrucci, who has ridden a satellite Ducati since 2015, said he hoped to become a long-term works rider with the manufacturer.
"I think my study phase isn't finished yet, because next year at this point in the season I will find myself in the same situation, although I hope to stay at Ducati for many years," he said.
"Maybe I'm paying a little bit for not having been at the top for a long time, and having arrived only recently."
Petrucci is fifth in the riders' standings after last weekend's Barcelona race and is the highest-placed Ducati rider, but he believes that status is "not so true" given Lorenzo's recent resurgence.
Petrucci was hampered by an overheating front tyre at Barcelona and ended up eighth, while Lorenzo won his second race in a row.
"[It] was quite strange, we were checking the data, and for three laps I locked the front in Turn 10," he recalled.
"I was thinking the first time 'it can happen', second time 'OK, there is a problem with my front' - I almost hit Dani [Pedrosa] - and the third time I thought there must be oil on the track because it was quite strange.
"[It] was scary because it happens not one time, three times in a row, and now we have the pressure and temperature sensor on the tyre, and we have never seen 95C on the front tyre. It was way too high."