Danilo Petrucci enjoys first taste of life as a MotoGP racer

Italian MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci watched the London Marathon from his pop-up shop in London last Sunday. On Thursday he arrived in Washington, was fitted for a suit by custom tailor Riccardo Sorice at Sigalino & Moranti, and then went to a dinner on The Wharf with a group of journalists to talk about what it is like being a member of the elite team.

Petrucci, 22, has a driving license (though he can’t legally drive yet) and has already raced in more than a dozen races in Germany, Italy, and Spain, and won his first race this season in the Spanish lap race in Jerez on Oct. 15. He has a contract with MCR, and next week the team will fly to the Phillip Island Grand Prix in Australia for a race they have not won since 1994. The next race will be at Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., later this month.

“We all know how difficult it is to win the world championship; it’s tough,” Petrucci said. “It’s something that we all know we can achieve; we know it, but again, it’s like how many times in the history of the world racing has been won by a team. It’s not about the number of years of history of any team, it’s about the number of records it has.”

Petrucci was honored with the Paul Tergat Award as the 2015 Mpioneer of the Year for his inspiring performance to win his first race this season. His next goal is to win the world championship in France at the end of the season.

The MCR team is an ambitious one, with five riders on the factory Yamaha team, and it was even more so after Petrucci was named last week as the sixth rider on the Pramac Team in Moto2, which is an international version of MotoGP and is currently second to Yamaha in the rankings. MCR has secured a supply of high-tech components in a deal with a Japanese company and is looking for an even stronger team to replace long-term rider Dario Franchitti in MotoGP.

“This is all happening right now, but the thing is as a team we all know we have the obligation to win everything for the team and the riders are all together and we have to stay together to be stronger,” Petrucci said. “To me the goal of this team is a really big, big, big step up, and I think we can win the world championship this year because if we work hard we can do that.”

For more coverage of MotoGP, be sure to check out Trackside on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at Washington Post sports and RaceDay on Sundays. Follow Trackside and RaceDay on Twitter for real-time updates from this weekend’s MotoGP race.

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