Avintia "counting on keeping" Zarco amid Pramac rumours

Avintia MotoGP boss Raul Romero says he is “counting on” keeping Johann Zarco on 2021 and Ducati hasn’t indicated otherwise, amid rumours of a Pramac move for the Frenchman.

Avintia "counting on keeping" Zarco amid Pramac rumours

Despite initial reservations about joining the customer Ducati squad towards the end of last year, Zarco signed a deal in the winter to join Ducati and Avintia following a turbulent 2019 season.

Quitting KTM midway through a two-year contract, before being dropped outright after Misano, Zarco spent the final three races of 2019 racing in place of the injured Takaaki Nakagami’s LCR Honda – finishing behind former KTM teammate Pol Espargaro in 13th in Australia and crashing out of the Malaysian and Valencia Grands Prix.

With talks between Ducati and Andrea Dovizioso having stalled over money, the three-time championship runner-up has been linked to KTM in recent weeks – which is set to lose Pol Espargaro to Honda at the end of the year

Though a deal between Ducati and Dovizioso now looks likely to be struck, outlandish rumours of Zarco moving up to Pramac while Francesco Bagnaia moves to the factory team have swirled. 

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Avintia’s Romero moved to dismiss this, stating: “Tito Rabat has a contract with us for 2021, and we are counting on keeping Johann Zarco next year.

“Nobody at Ducati has told us otherwise. I speak regularly with Ducati and nobody there has told me anything about it.”

Zarco had been briefly linked to a Pramac seat for this year, after Ducati floated the idea of ousting a struggling Danilo Petrucci from its factory set-up to promote Jack Miller.

However, this idea was dropped as breaking Petrucci’s contract a year early wouldn’t have been worth the financial penalty Ducati would have had to pay. 

Zarco duly signed to Ducati to join Avintia, while the team became an official Ducati satellite squad, which has gained them two track engineers and two electronic engineers for its GP19-mounted riders.

Bagnaia and Martin at Pramac

Motorsport.com recently revealed Ducati had reached an agreement to bring Jorge Martin from KTM’s Moto2 contract to MotoGP with Pramac next year – though nothing has officially been announced.

Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti expects Bagnaia to remain with Pramac again in 2021, while Miller will step up to the works Ducati team.

Commenting on Bagnaia’s future, Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti told Motorsport.com the Italian marque will wait to see the 2018 Moto2 champion’s progress in the early races of the delayed season before making a final decision. 

“Of course, given he is 23 and what he has accomplished in Moto2, Bagnaia is a rider we want to keep for the future,” Ciabatti said.

“But at the same time, we want to see a noticeable improvement with the 2020 bike compared to the 2019 season.

“We want to wait and see what will happen when the championship starts again.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Pramac Racing

Francesco Bagnaia, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
The one positive of MotoGP races without fans

Previous article

The one positive of MotoGP races without fans

Next article

Why MotoGP's ego-free superstar should have Marquez worried

Why MotoGP's ego-free superstar should have Marquez worried
Load comments
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021