Petrucci is making his Dakar debut this year having lost his ride with Tech3 KTM in MotoGP at the end of 2021.
Having broken his ankle during training and almost being denied his Dakar debut due to a false positive COVID-19 test on the eve of the rally raid, Petrucci has impressed hugely on his Tech3-run KTM.
Set for a top five result at the end of stage two, Petrucci was effectively ruled out of the running for overall victory after a mechanical issue forced him to alert the organisers through his motorcycle for help when he’d discovered he’d lost his mobile phone.
However, he was able to re-join the rally raid to continue his adaptation to the event.
Thursday’s fifth stage for the bikes and the Dakar Classic was neutralised at 12:16pm local time due to the fact the medical air support was mobilised at the time.
Petrucci was classified in second place behind fellow KTM rider Toby Price, before the latter was hit with a six-minute time penalty for a speed limit offence.
With Petrucci originally finishing 4m14s adrift of Price, the double MotoGP race winner was declared the winner of stage five.
Writing a brief message on his social media after the result was announced, Petrucci said: “I’m crying like a baby, I cannot write.”
#90 Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing: Danilo Petrucci
Photo by: KTM Images
Petrucci scored a maiden top three on Wednesday’s stage four, before a penalty stripped him of that.
Nevertheless, speaking on his Instagram on Wednesday, Petrucci said he “didn’t f****** care because I had a lot of fun”.
Writing on Wednesday, he said: “Today was awesome! A really fast stage, I started in the back and I recovered a lot of time when I met Lorenzo Santolino and with him we helped each other with navigation and speed.
“470km in the desert at full throttle with an average speed of 100km/ and a maximum of 170 – and I finished on the podium.
“Then they penalised me because in a speed zone I went over 30km/h. The average speed was ok, but I go over the limit in that section.
“But you know what? I don’t f****** care because I had a lot of fun.”