Johann Zarco is joining Ducati next  year. AP Photo/Vincent Thian.
Johann Zarco is joining Ducati next year. AP Photo/Vincent Thian.

Zarco joins Avintia Ducati to complete 2020 MotoGP grid

By Alan Baldwin Time of article published Dec 10, 2019

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BORO PANIGALE, ITALY - French rider Johann Zarco joined the Reale Avintia Ducati team on Monday to complete the MotoGP starting grid for 2020.

The 29-year-old replaces Czech rider Karel Abraham, who announced in November that he would be leaving, alongside Spaniard Tito Rabat.

"I am very pleased to officially announce my signature with Ducati for 2020 season," Zarco said on Instagram. "My left ankle is recovering well, I can enjoy now my winter time having rest with family and training again very soon."

Zarco, a double Moto2 champion and MotoGP rookie of the year in 2017, ended the 2019 season as a stand-in for LCR Honda's Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami, who was recovering from shoulder surgery.

The Frenchman had parted company with KTM in September and injured his ankle in the Valencia season-ender. 

Zarco joined KTM at the end of last year from Tech3 Yamaha on a two-year contract but the partnership struggled.

"Zarco tried to adapt his riding style to the KTM RC16 and the team tried relentlessly to mould the #5 machine to the Frenchman's wishes and requirements," KTM said in a statement.

"Ultimately both Johann and the team decided not to proceed with their joint project for 2020 and will now focus on giving the maximum for the final eight rounds and remaining months of MotoGP 2019."

The 2020 MotoGP season is set to kick off in Qatar on March 8, and it's set to be an exciting year for South Africans, with Brad Binder moving up to the premier series with a Red Bull KTM seat.

Reuters

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