Ducati’s ‘goal’ to announce new Bagnaia contract in Qatar

Francesco Bagnaia

Ducati has set a “goal” of announcing a new contract for Francesco Bagnaia during Round 1 of the 2022 MotoGP season in Qatar next month.

The Italian is currently riding for the factory team on a two-year deal which runs out at the end of the season ahead, after finishing second only to Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo in last year’s title race.

He thus shapes as one of the key contenders for 2022, given Quartararo’s frustration at the lack of development of the YZR-M1 which has the Frenchman’s future, in his words, “wide open”.

Bagnaia, on the other hand, is not going anywhere, based on comments from sporting director Paolo Ciabatti.

“Small details are still missing for the renewal of Bagnaia, [but] the goal is to make the official announcement within the first race of the season in Qatar,” Ciabatti told Sky Sport Italia during the ongoing Mandalika Official Test.

Once that is sealed, the state of play will essentially be a three-way fight for the other seat at the Ducati Lenovo Team.

Queenslander Jack Miller is the incumbent but is under serious pressure from not only Jorge Martin but another second-year rider in Enea Bastianini.

Martin gave Pramac Racing its first MotoGP race win last year, while Bastianini took a Desmosedici GP19 to two podiums with Esponsorama Racing, before his switch in the off-season to new Ducati team Gresini Racing.

The Qatar Grand Prix will be held from March 4-6.

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