The world championship is yet to start, but teams are already working with a view to 2019, considering that many riders' contracts are up for renewal at the end of this season. For this reason, Ducati Pramac has made an early move, coming to an agreement with Francesco Bagnaia.
During an Italian TV broadcast, Guido Meda confirmed the fact that the Italian, currently riding for the Sky Racing Team VR46, has been hired by the Borgo Panigale satellite team. A few months ago, Francesco Guidotti had told us of his interest in the rider, and now comes the long-awaited signature on a two-year contract for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
“I'm really pleased, I've dreamed of riding in MotoGP with Ducati since I was a child. I still can't believe it” Pecco Bagnaia's first words followig the official announcement.
The Italian will see his dreams come true after lengthy negotiations with Pramac.
“It's really incredible, they really wanted me - he confirms - we started to talk in late 2016. Right from the start, they told me they had liked me since I was fast with the Mahindra in Moto3, because that wasn't an easy situation. I grew a lot with the team during those years and now I need to finish the job in Moto2 before moving to MotoGP”.
He then refers back to the end of last year.
“The offer came at the end of October and I wanted to sign without even thinking twice. VR46 has helped me understand how MotoGP works and once everything was sorted, I decided to make this move”.
Bagnaia briefly tested a MotoGP in late 2016, when he rode the Aspar Ducati at Valencia, after having won a bet with Gino Borsoi.
“During those 9 laps, the only thing that came out was my top speed, I think it was the 3rd fastest overall. It was too brief a test to really understand anything else”.
Before focusing on the reigning class though, he needs to concentrate on Moto2.
“This year will be fundamental, the first in which I can fight for the title and so i have to make the most of this opportunity. Both me and the team are in shape; we'll see how it goes, the top ten riders are all really strong. I'm part of a team that's become like family, in MotoGP I'll be starting over from scratch, it's a different type of work and you need to be ready for it, but I have a lot of good people around me who can help me”.