The Ducati soap opera has concluded in the best possible way, at least for Jack Miller. The (less than) secret negotiations with Lorenzo having come to nothing, team Pramac confirms the Australian (who has signed a contract directly with the mother company) for 2020. This will be Jack's third year with the Italian team and once again he'll have a factory Desmosedici.
This means that Ducati will field four GP20 bikes next season, two for the factory riders Dovizioso and Petrucci and two for Pramac riders Bagnaia and Miller).
Team owner Paolo Campinoti arrived in Austria on Sunday to finalise the agreement. Jack has got what he wanted, a factory bike and also a slight increase in salary. Negotiations with Lorenzo having failed, Ducati had no other choice but to renew its faith in the Australian.
In this way, Zarco sees another MotoGP door close, the rider having stated that this is where he wants to stay. It's hard to know what path Johann might take now, the only available seat being the one he has vacated in KTM. In order for him to stay in the reigning class, something unexpected would have to happen, like Jorge leaving Honda, but this, for now at least, remains market science-fiction.
"I am very happy to have reached this agreement - states Jack - Pramac Racing is a team that made me feel comfortable right from the start and the relationship with Ducati is very close. I will again have the official bike at my disposal and will do my best to achieve great results. I would like to thank Ducati and my team for the great work they have done so far."
Team manager Francesco Guidotti adds: "Our main goal is to grow young riders and give them the chance to ride the factory Ducati bike one day. Jack is proving to have great talent and his current position in the riders’ standings is confirmation of this. We are proud to have him with us also next season and we will now stay focused on our work to achieve even greater results in 2019.”
Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati Corse Sporting Director: "We are really glad to have reached an agreement with Pramac Racing that will allow our factory supported team to field Desmosedici GP 20 bikes for both Jack and Pecco next year. It will be the first time that Ducati will have four identical bikes in MotoGP, two for the factory Ducati Team and two for Pramac Racing: this exceptional effort will help us to collect and share more information and improve the development process, with the aim of obtaining even better results and stimulate a fair and positive competition among our riders. We are very pleased that Jack will continue with us next year, because he has shown continuous progress since he joined us in 2018, and want to thank Pramac Racing for their continued commitment to Ducati.”