In a note released this Monday afternoon, early in the morning in Bagkok, the Suzuki team confirmed the news advanced by the AS newspaper that the 32-year-old Italian driver will take over from Joan Mir, who is still injured, in the Grand Thailand Award being held this weekend in Buriram.
“It goes without saying that I am very happy for the opportunity to race in Thailand with Team Suzuki Ecstar,” explains Danilo Petrucci in the statement.
“I want to thank the team for giving me this fantastic opportunity. I also want to thank Ducati and the management of my current team for letting me take this race as a substitute. I am very curious to get on the GSX-RR and test it, it seems very fast and we know it’s a winning machine. I’m also looking forward to working with the Suzuki team, which I’ve known for a long time and have a great relationship with. I know it won’t be easy, so I don’t put any expectations on the experience, I just want to enjoy it. I’m also excited to be one of the few riders in history to jump from a MotoGP machine to a Dakar bike, to a Superbike and then to another MotoGP factory bike,” added the Terni rider, who hasn’t been on a MotoGP since the Valencia Grand Prix held on November 19 last year.
Petrucci, who spent ten seasons in MotoGP (2012-2021) competing with, among others, Pramac, Ducati and one season with Tech3-KTM, left the world championship paddock at the end of 2021, enrolling in the Dakar adventure and in the AMA championship. MotoAmerica, in the United States, again with Ducati.
Petrucci’s name was already rumored to replace Mir in San Marino, but then the story was over, a possibility that could very well materialize this weekend in Thailand.
In the same statement, Suzuki reports on Joan Mir’s progress, indicating that “he continues to recover from the right ankle injury he suffered in Austria in August, which includes a fractured talus bone and ligament damage, and After a new MRI, he has been forced not to participate in the weekend in Thailand”.
In this way, Mir will continue to be out for another week as a result of the injury to the ligaments in his right ankle that he suffered in the first round of the Austrian Grand Prix, held on August 21. Due to this injury, Mir could not take part in the San Marino Grand Prix, where he was replaced by the Japanese Kazuki Watanabe , or in the tests after the Italian event, making the decision to reappear at the Aragón weekend ( September 16-18).
In Motorland, Mir suffered severe pain and problems riding his right leg, the injured one, and despite the efforts of the riders and some modifications to the bike to try to help him ride, he had to leave on Saturday after the dispute in FP3 .
Once again, the Mallorcan rider was absent this past weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix, where he was replaced by Tetsuta Nagashima who was unable to finish the race when his GSX-RR caught fire.