Danilo Petrucci appears close to a KTM MotoGP deal after visiting the Austrian factory with his manager Alberto Vergani.

Pol Espargaro's expected to switch to Repsol Honda next season, albeit with a possible delay until September for an official announcement due to a contractual clause, means KTM is in need of an experienced rider to join young guns Brad Binder, Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona.

A Petrucci deal would mean, for the first time since joining MotoGP in 2017, KTM has a premier-class race winner in its factory team.

The Italian is available after losing his factory Ducati seat to Jack Miller for 2021 and made clear he would be interested in both KTM and Aprilia. Aprilia initially seemed most likely, having pursued Petrucci in the past, but the team cannot plan its future line-up until knowing the outcome of Andrea Iannone's CAS appeal.

“We saw everything at KTM,” Vergani told Speedweek.com. "The facilities are very impressive. Our expectations have been exceeded… We are now calmly waiting for KTM's next steps.

"As for Danilo, I can say that he was happy yesterday. Because the KTM company is huge and powerful. I see that they have the potential to achieve the results that they have set as their goal.

"If we can be part of this project in the future, this could be the right time to start working with KTM."

Vergani added to Crash.net: "I am quite optimistic that we will be in MotoGP also in 2021. [The] feeling is good."

Petrucci, 29, has taken nine MotoGP podiums (including last year's Mugello win) and finished a best-yet sixth overall in the 2019 world championship.

Espargaro and KTM claimed a wet podium at Valencia in 2018 and a best dry result of sixth at Le Mans last year, which matches the top finish for Aprilia's RS-GP. 

Revised 2020 MotoGP Calendar

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

19 July

Spain

Jerez

2

26 July

Andalusia

Jerez

3

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

4

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

5

23 August

Styria

Red Bull Ring

6

13 September

San Marino

Misano

7

20 September

Emilia Romagna

Misano

8

27 September

Catalunya

Barcelona

9

11 October

France

Le Mans

10

18 October

Aragon

Aragon

11

25 October

Teruel

Aragon

12

8 November

Europe

Ricardo Tormo

13

15 November

Valencia

Ricardo Tormo

 

TBC

Thailand

Buriram

 

TBC

Malaysia

Sepang

 

TBC

Americas

COTA

 

TBC

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo

 

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