The presence of Danilo Petrucci was – for Italian fans but not only – one of the most intriguing reasons of interest in this edition of the Dakar 2022 which is about to leave in Saudi Arabia. Instead the rider from Terni, never helped by good luck, seriously risks not being able to even take part in the legendary rally raid. The KTM standard bearer, who bid farewell to MotoGP at the end of this season and has been meticulously preparing his landing on off-road bikes for several months, is positive result at Covid. His situation is still pending. As is well known, in fact, in these situations there is also the risk of a false positive. For this reason, the former Ducati rider is awaiting the outcome of a second swab which should certify or deny the outcome of the former.
Certainly not the situation in which the Umbrian driver would have liked to find himself a few days before departure. In recent days, however, Petrucci had also suffered a microfracture in the talus of his right foot. If the positivity is confirmed, Petrucci obviously could not start on January 1st at the inaugural mini stage which will start from Jeddah. The Italian is not the only one to risk exclusion even before the start. To prepare for the Dakar, the KTM driver also trained in the desert with his home mates Matthias Walkner, Toby Price and Kevin Benavides, all experienced rally-raid drivers. All the more than 3,500 people involved in the race – including drivers and professionals – were in fact ‘buffered’. The results will define who will be eligible – or not – to take part in the two-week race.
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