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MotoGP Surprise: Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci Will Fill In For Joan Mir This Weekend On The Ecstar Suzuki MotoGP Bike

After ten podiums in MotoGP, Danilo Petrucci decided to go to the Dakar Rally and earn a stage win, and follow that with a year in the U.S. MotoAmerica series where he won five races and finished second in the championship. Just a week after the end of the MotoAmerica series, Petrucci will slot in for Suzuki MotoGP rider Joan Mir at the Buriram round next weekend.

Here is a press release from Suzuki:

Team Suzuki Press Office – September 27: Former MotoGP star Danilo Petrucci will stand in for a side-lined Joan Mir at the Thai Grand Prix this weekend in Buriram. 

As Mir continues to struggle with the right ankle injury he suffered at the Austrian GP in August, which includes a fracture to the talus bone and ligament damage, another MRI scan means he has been forced to sit out yet another MotoGP race. 

Following stand-in rides from Kazuki Watanabe and Takuya Tsuda in the San Marino and Japanese GPs respectively, the next rider to jump onboard the GSX-RR will be motorsport stalwart Petrucci. The rider affectionately known as Petrux is a 10-time MotoGP podium sitter, including two victories. After leaving MotoGP at the end of 2021 he went directly into the legendary Dakar Rally. He took a stage win in the infamous desert race, one of only a handful of rookies to do so, and the first ever former GP winner to achieve this feat. For the 2022 season he has been racing in the MotoAmerica series, securing five wins, and narrowly missing out on the championship crown at last weekend’s season finale. Now he’s ready to step onto Suzuki’s MotoGP machine for another shot in the premier class. 

Rins scored a fifth place finish on MotoGP’s last visit to Thailand in 2019, and the Spaniard is raring to go after a competitive but ultimately disappointing Japanese GP last week. 

Alex Rins: 

“It’s really nice to come back to Buriram, not least because the fans here are incredibly passionate about motorcycle racing and the atmosphere is always really exciting. As everyone knows, Motegi wasn’t a positive race for us, but I did get a huge boost from the Japanese fans and I want to take that support into the remaining races.” 

Danilo Petrucci : 

“Needless to say, I’m so happy for the chance to race in Thailand with Team Suzuki Ecstar. I want to thank the Team for giving me this fantastic opportunity. I also want to thank Ducati and my current team management for letting me take this stand-in ride. I’m really curious to jump on the GSX-RR and try it, it looks very fast and we know it’s a winning machine. I’m also eager to work with the Suzuki crew, that I’ve known for a long time now and we have a wonderful relationship. I know it won’t be easy, so I’m not putting any expectations on the experience, I just want to enjoy it. I’m also excited to be one of the few riders in history jumping from a MotoGP machine to a Dakar bike, a Superbike, then another factory MotoGP bike!” 

Livio Suppo:

“Unfortunately after a new MRI, doctors have confirmed that Joan’s situation is improving but not enough to allow him to race in Thailand. Therefore, he will continue his rehabilitation in order to be fit for Phillip Island. He will be replaced in Buriram this weekend by Danilo Petrucci. We would like to thank Ducati for allowing Danilo to take this opportunity. We know Danilo is a “flagship” for them and we really appreciate it – it goes to show that passion and understanding is more important than anything else in our sport. We therefore welcome Danilo to our team, we will do our best to make this weekend unforgettable for him!”


  1. motomike says:

    MotoAmerica should have a 2 stroke class. 250GP was awesome back in the day! Screw that fresh air BS.

  2. Bart says:

    I say more power to him, he’s got nothing to lose here in MoTowGpee.

  3. Jim says:

    What a stud!

  4. motomike says:

    I hope Petrucci wears his flame resistant leathers in case the Suzuki pulls the external combustion process again!

  5. Todd says:

    He may have a chance to podium if it rains.

  6. Stinkywheels says:

    This fella is a helluva rider. He’s proving it in Dakar and MotoAmerica. Good to see him get to ride the last of the Suzukis. I don’t know why he would want to get back in the pressure cooker of Moto GP unless he really still needs the money. He get’s to ride the planets fastest bikes again with no pressure. Lame duck manufacturer, he might become the next Jeremy McWilliams.

  7. Mick says:

    It’s good to see Motoamerica mentioned, even in a sort of back door way.

    I even looked to see who won the Championship, Some guy named Jake Gagne on a Yamaha. Two other Yamaha’s fill out the top four. Yahama might be slow in MotoGP. But it looks like they are doing well in the real world.

    • Jeremy says:

      I believe Cameron Beaubier is returning to Motoamerica next year after his failure to launch in Moto2. It will be interesting to see if he is as dominant when he returns or if he will have his hands full with Petrucci and Gagne.

      • Dave says:

        Interesting. If he gets back into his seat on the Yamaha then it should be good. Just looked at the standings and it appeared to be a 4-horse race. Former GP man Hector Barberra was 5th, almost 100 points back of 4th.

        It’s too bad that MotoAmerica hasn’t been able to attract more viewers. Too much messing with the classes/mixing classes. If there aren’t enough teams to have a true Superbike class, use the Superstock rules and call that Superbike. The difference isn’t visible from the side of the track or on TV, it’s just a letdown to know that only a few of the bikes in a given race are “fast” and the rest are something less (even though they’re also fast..).

        • Jeremy says:

          I agree with you 100% on that. Despite calling myself a race fan, I admittedly don’t watch Motoamerica. A lot of that frankly has to do with the fact that I don’t care for the mixed classes. The best riders are going to rise to the top regardless. Fill the grid with comparable machinery and roll with it. It would make for a better show. Some people complain about all the Ducatis on the grid in MotoGP, but those people must not have been around for the CRT days, which was effectively a mixed class. I’d much rather a grid full of competitive bikes.

          • Mick says:

            That’s interesting. I agree that the mixed classes thing only serves to remind people that MotoGP became the hole in the manufacturers arm where all the money goes. Having races with a few cheater bikes making a mockery of everyone else really throws water on the efforts of all the normals out there.

            It’s kind of hard to believe that it has been twenty years since the good old days of professional motorcycle racing. I used to follow GP, WSB, AMA Superbike and motocross closely. It was my dream to go to Europe, ride fantastic roads, drink in the cultures and attend a GP race. It was the only thing that was ever on anything like a bucket list for me.

            Then came 2002 and full stop. I lost all interest in any professional racing. I eventually lived in Europe, rode fantastic roads and drank in the cultures. But racing events were no longer part of the deal. I hosted a bunch of friends that went to the Assen race when I lived in The Netherlands. I refused to go to the race lest I give GP a thin dime of my money.

            Here we are twenty years later discussing the ashes of what was once a vibrant racing series and how it is still in ruins.

            MotoGP, the series that became king by murdering its brothers. I hope the fans really enjoy it. It comes at a terrible cost.

          • Dave says:

            So you used to watch one class with two stroke bikes and three classes with 4 stroke bikes but now that the one 2-stroke class is gone, you don’t watch any of them. Do I have that right?

            As we’ve been over before, MotoGP has never been better. Better bikes, deeper fields, more up and coming talent than they have room on the grid for.

            What you remember as “vibrant” was an uncompetitive racing class that was in reality, circling the drain.

            But for a guy who claims to have not cared about professional racing for 20 years, you sure do have a lot to say about it.

  8. Jeremy says:

    I’d love to see him pull a good result.

  9. John A Kuzmenko says:

    I’m curious to see how this goes.

  10. Dave says:

    This is cool to hear. Patrucci is a winner. It’d be nice if he could find his way back in to MotoGP. A good ride on the ‘Zook could help.

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