It’s pretty sad to see that Suzuki’s last season in the MotoGP isn’t exactly going too well. With Joan Mir out of contention for the time being following a broken ankle he sustained during the Austrian GP in August, Japanese riders Kazuki Watanabe and Takuya Tsuda had to fill in for him in the San Marino and Japanese GPs respectively.
Needless to say, the stand-ins for Mir weren’t exactly blessed with stellar performances, with Watanabe finishing in 21st at the San Marino GP, and Tsuda’s bike catching flames in Japan resulting in a DNF for the Japanese racer. That said, it’s easy to understand why Mir is eager to get back on the saddle and put on a show for Suzuki’s closing races. However, a recent MRI scan reveals that although his ankle injury is improving, he’s still not quite in good enough shape to hit the circuit just yet. As such, for the upcoming race in Thailand, none other than Danilo Petrucci is stepping in to sub for Joan Mir.
We’re big fans of Petrux here at RideApart, as the Italian racer has built a solid reputation as a dynamic motorcycle racer competing in everything from MotoGP, MotoAmerica, and even the freaking Dakar Rally. As such, if there’s someone who can be entrusted with Suzuki's GSX-RR, it’s definitely him. For the 2022 season, Petrucci has been racing in the MotoAmerica racing series, wherein he has proven to be quite the force to be reckoned with, securing five wins in total, and second place overall in the standings.
Danilo Petrucci stated that he was excited to have yet another shot in the premiere class, even if it was just for one race. In the official MotoGP press release he said: “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.” He added that he was curious to see how the Suzuki GSX-RR would behave on track, stating that it “looks very fast” and that he knows it’s a “winning machine.”
Meanwhile Alex Rins, whom Petrucci will be racing alongside, is also excited to race in Buriram following a disappointing run in Japan, wherein he was forced to retire on the 16th lap due to issues with his bike. He stated, “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.” With a generally optimistic atmosphere surrounding the Ecstar Suzuki paddock heading into the Thailand GP, hopefully the tides turn to their favor as we head into the closing races of the 2022 season.