Ducati names "three good candidates" for 2020 MotoGP ride

Ducati has “three good candidates” to partner Andrea Dovizioso at its works MotoGP team in 2020, sporting director Paolo Ciabatti says.

Ducati names "three good candidates" for 2020 MotoGP ride

Danilo Petrucci was promoted from satellite team Pramac to replace Jorge Lorenzo at the factory outfit this year but, unlike every other works rider on the grid, he was handed only a one-year contract.

To keep his seat past 2019, Petrucci will have to see off competition from Jack Miller, who will ride a factory-spec Desmosedici bike for Pramac, and the Aussie's new teammate Francesco Bagnaia, who will have a 2018-spec Ducati.

“The results of Petrucci, Jack and Pecco will lead us to decide which rider will be in the official team in 2020,” Ciabatti told Motorsport.com.

“We have three good candidates to fight for the 2020 factory ride.”

Bagnaia, the 21-year-old protege of MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, impressed in post-season premier-class testing with Pramac at Valencia and Jerez.

Ducati had handed him a MotoGP deal even before the start of his title-winning Moto2 2018 campaign, in which he sealed the championship with a race to spare.

“Pecco did an amazing season in Moto2,” Ciabatti said.

“We hired him in January and it was a gamble. We signed him thinking about our future, and now we know it was the right decision.

“Next year he will ride a 2018 Desmosedici, and we've demonstrated that it is a very competitive bike, although I expect the 2019 [version] to be even more competitive.

“Debuting in MotoGP is always difficult, but I think he will learn a lot and very quickly, having Jack as reference [at Pramac].”

Ciabatti said earlier that Petrucci - whose best result in MotoGP is second place, achieved on four occasions – still needed to prove it to Ducati that he was able to win races.

The sporting director has since added, however, that he didn't expect the new works rider to target beating Dovizioso right away.

“Danilo will have to face more pressure, and his goal will be to win for the first time and always fight to end up within the top five,” Ciabatti said.

“Danilo's target isn't beating Dovizioso, although if he can do it, that would be perfect.

“The idea is that he needs to gain confidence rather than try to show that he's better than Dovi.”

Francesco Bagnaia, Alma Pramac Racing

Francesco Bagnaia, Alma Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Why are there no American riders left in MotoGP?

Previous article

Why are there no American riders left in MotoGP?

Next article

Vinales must beat Rossi "pretty much every race"

Vinales must beat Rossi "pretty much every race"
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Francesco Bagnaia , Danilo Petrucci , Jack Miller
Teams Ducati Team
Author Oriol Puigdemont
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021