MotoGP has confirmed the cancellation of the Sepang shakedown and test but keeps Qatar on for now, as Danilo Petrucci speaks on Tech 3 KTM move.

As what was being expected, the FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports, have announced the cancellation of the shakedown and subsequent MotoGP test at Sepang circuit in Malaysia amid COVID-19 restrictions. It was scheduled to take place in early February.

It won’t be replaced at this juncture, with the Qatar MotoGP test at Losail International Circuit staying on for now, as per the 2021 calendar. It will be held on March 10-12, just ahead of the first round but both depends on the final confirmation.

After F1 were forced to re-schedule their 2021 calendar, MotoGP will certainly face its own challenges going forward, especially with the flyaway events like Argentina and USA at the forefront of the new season. Further changes will be announced later on.

The lack of February test will certainly affect MotoGP riders making their debut and or switching teams. One of them will be Petrucci, who moves on from Ducati to KTM albeit riding for its satellite outfit Tech 3 Racing, alongside youngster Iker Lecuona.

After a decent first year with Ducati, Petrucci struggled in 2020 but the Italian MotoGP rider wishes to put it behind and start afresh with KTM. “I want to be as fast as possible,” he said. “KTM is a great factory and Tech3 is a great team. I don’t know if I can, but I want to be the best KTM rider. It would certainly be important for my future at KTM.

“But I know that Binder, Oliveira and Lecuona know the bike better than I do. But I have more experience in MotoGP. It would be good to always fight with the top five. I feel the need after a difficult season in which I have only been ahead in one race. In 2020 I wanted to be constantly in the lead as I have always done since 2017.

“And in 2021 I want to win other races. I don’t want to set a difficult goal for myself, but to be the best version of myself. I learned German as a second language in school, between the ages of 11 and 15. Now I’m trying to learn it even better, but I noticed that it was easier for me in school than it is today.

“I understand it better than I speak it! But this season I want to improve and practice with the members of the German-speaking KTM team,” summed up Petrucci, who will be eyeing to start well and try to find a space within the factory outfit in the coming MotoGP seasons.

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