Morbidelli seals Pramac Ducati MotoGP deal

Franco Morbidelli at the Argentina Grand Prix. Image: Yamaha Factory Racing

Franco Morbidelli at the Argentina Grand Prix. Image: Yamaha Factory Racing

Franco Morbidelli will join the Ducati MotoGP stable after signing a contract to ride for Pramac Racing in 2024.

The Italian’s impending exit from Yamaha was confirmed earlier this year, with the Iwata marque having signed Alex Rins as his replacement.

Morbidelli, who finished runner-up in the 2020 MotoGP title race, will share the Pramac garage with the rider who is currently second in the championship, Jorge Martin.

As is the way with Pramac, the contract is directly with Ducati, and its General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna hailed the deal.

“It is a pleasure for us to welcome Franco Morbidelli to our factory-supported Pramac Racing team for the upcoming sports season, riding an official Desmosedici GP,” he said.

“Franco is a rider of great talent and experience, and on more than one occasion, he has demonstrated his strength and speed.

“It’s no coincidence that in 2020, he was the MotoGP vice-world champion, winning three Grand Prix races.

“We are confident that, together with the Pramac Racing team and thanks to our support, he will be able to show his full potential.

“We look forward to embarking on this new exciting adventure together.”

Pramac Team Principal Paolo Campinoti remarked, “I am very happy that Franco is joining our family for 2024.

“I have an excellent relationship with him, and he has proven to be a champion on many occasions.

“I am confident that in our team, he will find the right conditions to fight for the positions he deserves.”

Meanwhile, Takaakaki Nakagami has renewed his deal with Honda and LCR for 2024.

The Japanese rider will have a new team-mate in Johann Zarco, who currently holds the Pramac seat which Morbidelli is taking over.

With Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini at the factory Ducati Team, and VR46 Racing Team having re-signed both Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, it means just Gresini Racing still has a Desmosedici ride on offer.

Alex Marquez is under contract for 2024 but the door remains open for his brother Marc to join him if the six-time premier class champion is willing and able to extricate himself from the final year of his current Honda contract.

The 2023 MotoGP season continues this weekend with the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, at the Buddh International Circuit which previously hosted Formula 1.

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