Drivers and teams – Zarco signs directly with Ducati to ride at Avintia in 2020 –

Zarco signs directly with Ducati to run at Avintia in 2020

Drivers and teams - Zarco signs directly with Ducati to ride at Avintia in 2020 -

This time, it’s official: Johann Zarco will play well in the MotoGP 2020 season on a Ducati within the Avintia team, as planned since the Valencia GP in mid-November. But beware: this one-year contract binds the French driver more to the Italian manufacturer than to the Spanish team.. Explanations. 

End of the incredible soap opera "MotoGP, your merciless universe" with Johann Zarco as the main actor: as on MNC, the arrival of Cannes in the Ducati Avintia satellite structure is formalized after a month of intense negotiations. No.5 will drive a Desmosedici GP19 alongside Tito Rabat with direct support from Ducati.

  • MNC of December 10, 2019 :
  • MNC of 25 November 2019Ducati Avintia fires Abraham to hire Zarco 
  • MNC special file :

And it is precisely this notion that dragged things on: Johann – helped in his efforts by Claude Michy, promoter of the GP of France – demanded from the manufacturer of Bologna solid guarantees before signing. The ex-KTM rider, openly suspicious of Avintia’s potential and capabilities, wanted to be sure he had the right equipment and the right people to develop it.

Objective: to avoid supplying the grid funds within a structure that is effectively low-rated in MotoGP. For Johann, it was better to return to Moto2 – to VDS instead of Alex Marquez – than to risk experiencing such a situation. Or rather to relive it: the 29-year-old driver still has in his mouth the bitterness of his failure at KTM, a bet that turned into a nightmare and then in early termination of contract during the Austrian GP.

Ducati has therefore given itself the means to reassure the French by first providing them with increased technical and human support for Avintia, then by offering them a contract directly with the factory. Johann will therefore be considered a Ducati rider employed by Avintia..

Avintia pilot? No: Ducati rider ! 

Very important nuance for the beginner of the year 2017, as underlined by the terms used and the photo chosen to formalize this announcement: Johann poses in "civilian" in front of a Ducati logo, without any visual reference to his new Reale Avintia Racing structure or to its sponsors. 

"I am very happy to formalize my signing with Ducati for the 2020 season in the MotoGP category where I will be racing with the Reale Avintia Racing team!", Indicates the French rider reassuring his fans about his state of health following his fall at Valencia (Spain) on the Honda-LCR. 

"My left ankle is recovering well. I will be able to enjoy my winter now with a few days of family vacation before resuming training very soon!", He confirms, while his first laps on the Ducati will have held in Malaysia in early February 2020.

Avintia is proud to announce the arrival of four additional engineers alongside its two riders, directly from the Ducati Corse factory department. "Johann Zarco, two-time Moto2 world champion, has signed a one-year contract directly with Ducati and will make his first appearance on the track (…) during winter tests scheduled in Sepang from February 7 to 9" , specifies the structure managed by former pilot Ruben Xaus.

"I am really happy and enthusiastic about the arrival of a great rider like Johann Zarco in our team with Ducati", underlines Raul Romero, owner of the Avintia team. "We hope to see Johann and Tito (Rabat, Editor’s note) regularly in the top 10 and soon become a benchmark team".

More ambitious, Zarco envisages a trajectory which leaves no doubt about the temporary aspect – in his eyes – of his time at Avintia: "my 2020 objective is not to appear beyond the tenth place, even the top 7 , and join the official team in 2021 "… Andrea Dovizioso and – above all – Danilo Petrucci are warned !

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