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Petrucci Studio Interview

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Danilo Petrucci’s Unyielding Desire to Succeed

Number 9 MotoGP rider, Danilo Petrucci, tells us the story of strength and struggle to make his motorcycling dreams come true.

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Hard Work and Sacrifice

With only a handful of riders on the starting grid for the world’s top level of motorcycle racing, each story of how these athletes got there is unique. Some were destined for it and some had to work and sacrifice more than any of us can possibly fathom to live their dream. Regardless of what they had to go through, they’re the ones who fight it out for the podium positions throughout the races of the season. And the ones we cheer for in the stands, the sidelines and on television.

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Battling Demons

As Danilo Petrucci tells us his story, you can see the war of emotions on his face. You can hear it in his voice. It’s the demons he battles with every day - on and off track - on coming to terms with how spectacular and how difficult it can be to live one’s dream. You also feel how humble and grateful he is for the chance to wake up on a race morning, put his game-face on, and ride for the top spot in front of millions of fans.

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Humble
Beginnings

Perhaps the anxiety for success is driven by his humble roots. Coming from a working-class family, the sacrifice to provide for such a dream became daunting at times.

“We were not rich,” Petrucci says with humility, “A normal family.”

He continues, “And for a normal family, you start to spend a lot of money. I mean, my father and my mother and my brother, too. They lived for my career. And this is, I think, something money can't buy. Because they spent really an entire lifetime to let me follow my dreams.”

The sincerity by which he speaks gives us a sliver of understanding about his character. Though he’s riding on top of the world, he doesn’t take one moment for granted. It’s apparent when he speaks of racing and how fortunate he is to be sitting where he is. After all, he says, “I don't know how many times we were sitting around the table of my house and saying, ’Okay, where we can find the money for racing next year?’”

But they always found a way. Even if it meant they didn’t have the best-of-the-best equipment or technicians to support them in the paddock. Pre MotoGP, that is.

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Work with What You Got

As a child racing in the different motorcycle classes, there were those who had a lot more resources. They had mechanics and technicians, a back-up bike, the works. “Sometimes, when you miss technical stuff, it’s difficult to compete.”

He adds, “When you are child, and there are riders that have a lot of money, and have a better bike than you, and are sometimes in front of you… The most difficult things to explain to people is how long and how hard the work is for a rider.” That rings especially true when you don’t have what you need – technically – to compete at a higher level. Though that never stopped him.

Petrucci testing at Sepang

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I didn't lose my dream, and I continued to keep on working, to keep on pushing… I have a mission to do. I'm happy to be here. I'm lucky to be a professional rider.
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Triumph over Frustration

Of course, he had days when he was ready to step away from the sport. When the frustration of everything became too much to bear.

He says he can’t recall, “How many times I said, ‘This time I could crash. It's enough.’ It still happens, one or two times per year! But when you are child and you see your dream very, very far, and things are not working, you say okay, I'm far, far away from my dream, and I don't have the chance to improve. What can I do?”

Petrucci celebrating

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But fortunately, he didn’t quit. “I didn't lose my dream, and I continued to keep on working, to keep on pushing. Sometimes, when things weren’t working, I always got sad. Because I’ve spent almost my whole life doing this, and I don't know what to do outside of (racing.) What can I do in the normal life? For sure, I'm curious to have a normal life.”

Though his curiosity is strong for what could be deemed a “normal” life, Petrucci’s face radiates enthusiasm as he says, “I have a mission to do. I'm happy to be here. I'm lucky to be a professional rider.”

Petrucci celebrating

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