Johann Zarco has confirmed to join Reale Avintia Racing as a Ducati rider for 2020 MotoGP season, it has been announced.
After months of speculation, Zarco has been officially confirmed to join Avintia as a Ducati rider for the 2020 MotoGP season which also completes the rider line-up. The Frenchman will make his full-time racing return after mid-season pull-out from his KTM contract.
He raced for LCR Honda towards the end of the 2019 MotoGP season but the Japanese manufacturer decided to take in Moto2 champion Alex Marquez to partner Marc Marquez after the retirement of Jorge Lorenzo, with LCR retaining the same line-up.
Zarco initially made a joke about joining Avintia as he felt it was better to race in Moto2 than for the Spanish MotoGP team, but since then the team has increased its association with Ducati to be its satellite team rather than a mere customer outfit.
This paved way for Zarco to get in alongside Tito Rabat with Karel Abraham forced out despite having a contract to race in 2020. The team ran its MotoE racer Eric Granado in the Jerez test as talks continued behind the scenes with an injured Frenchman.
“I am very please to officially announce my signature with Ducati for 2020 season in MotoGP category in the Reale Avintia Racing Team,” wrote Zarco on his social media. “My left ankle is recovering well, I can enjoy now my winter time having rest with family and training again very soon.”
Following Zarco’s post, Avintia revealed more details on the new season where both riders will ride a Desmosedici GP19 with two track engineers and two Ducati electronics personnel will join the Spanish outfit as part of the increased deal.
Avintia’s Raul Romero said: “I am really happy and excited with the arrival of a great rider like Johann Zarco to our team from the hand of Ducati. This further strengthens the growth of the team after extending the contract with the Manufacter of Borgo Panigale, making a leap of quality in terms of material by becoming a satellite team.
“All this package will allow to reflect in the circuits the effort of the structure in the last years. We hope to see Johann and Tito assiduously in the top ten and become a reference team soon. Finally, we would like to thank all our sponsors for their efforts in recent years, without them this would not have been possible.”
Here’s what Karel Abraham said about his MotoGP career end