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Ducati to retain Bagnaia, Zarco but factory line-up uncertain

Daniel Herrero

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Sunday 23rd August, 2020 - 12:11pm

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Francesco Bagnaia (#63) and outgoing Ducati Team rider Andrea Dovizioso (#04) pic: MotoGP.com

Ducati will retain Francesco Bagnaia and Johann Zarco but has still not decided who will partner Jack Miller in its factory team next year.

The Bologna manufacturer picked up Zarco after his mid-season departure from KTM last year and placed him at Esponsorama Racing (Avintia), while Bagnaia is presently Miller’s team-mate at Pramac Racing.

With Andrea Dovizioso leaving at the end of the current campaign, the other seat at the Ducati Team will be confirmed before the two Misano rounds which follow this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix.

“It’s true that we basically agreed terms with ‘Pecco’ for the next two years,” Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti told the television world feed at the Red Bull Ring.

“It’s too early for us to say if we continue with Pramac or he will move to the factory team.

“We will also continue with Johann Zarco, and then we will make up our mind just before Misano.”

Ciabatti was comparatively coy regarding Jorge Martin, who has been tipped to move up from the KTM Moto2 team to one of the premier class Ducati squads in 2021.

He also identified Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini, who sit just above Martin in first and second respectively in the standings, as interests.

“As you know, there is another Moto2 rider (Martin) that is interesting for us that we cannot mention at the moment, but for sure Luca and Enea are doing very good,” observed Ciabatti.

“So, we are also looking at the possibility to sign another Moto2 rider joining Ducati for next year.

“I think again we will probably make a decision in the coming weeks, then the target is to make an announcement just before Misano so then the rider line-up for Ducati for 2021 will be clear.”

Zarco was Ducati’s fastest qualifier in third position on his GP19 at the Styrian Grand Prix but will start from pit lane as punishment for his role in last weekend’s horror crash.

Miller therefore moves up to fourth on the grid assuming he does start after injuring his shoulder in a crash in Free Practice 3.

Bagnaia is currently out injured after breaking a leg a fortnight ago at Brno.

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