Training for a MotoGP season is nothing like preparing for the world-famous Dakar Rally. That’s a fact that Danilo Petrucci learned firsthand this week after a crash during training left the two-time MotoGP race-winner with a ruptured right fibula. Even before the end of the 2021 MotoGP season, Petrux trained on the KTM 450 Rally in Dubai. He returned for more training on December 10, 2021, but his latest session wasn’t as fruitful.
“I drove in the middle of the dunes and was traveling slowly because I was 'off piste', that is, in deep sand,” explained Petrucci. “There was a little bump, then I clearly saw the continuation of the path again.
“But after the small bump there was a really deep hole and I crashed hard on the bike when landing. I put a lot of force on the footrests, and this heavy compression caused a small fracture on the right fibula.”
As a result of his injury, Petrucci returned home to Terni, Italy, to nurse his wounds. Luckily, the trip will allow the rider to adjust his fitness training measurement to accommodate his latest injury.
“This bone rupture is not going to compromise my Dakar debut,” Petrucci reassured Speedweek. “I don't go jogging so far, but I cycle on the roller and can continue my fitness training at home unhindered. Fortunately, the break has not been postponed; therefore no operation has been carried out. I just have to keep my ankle moving, but I shouldn't put too much weight on it.”
With the Dakar Rally starting on January 2, 2022, Petrucci is scheduled to join the KTM Factory Racing Rally Team for the prologue stage on the first day of the new year. Hopefully, the retired MotoGP rider can rest his right leg before flying to Saudi Arabia on December 27, 2021. While Petrux may already be at a disadvantage, his KTM teammates have his back.
"But I have to say that all of the drivers from the Pierer Mobility AG teams are very nice to me," added Petrucci. “They have helped me a lot. I asked them a lot of questions, and luckily, they gave me a lot of valuable advice. We also share all information in the roadbook. I am lucky that I have such nice teammates."