Ducati confirms 2021 line-up with Bagnaia joining Miller at factory team


Ducati's 2021 line-up is officially confirmed with both Pramac Ducati riders moving up to the factory team for the next MotoGP season

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati MotoGP 2020

Bagnaia will form part of the brand new line-up at Ducati in 2021

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Ducati has confirmed that Francesco Bagnaia will partner up with current Pramac Ducati team-mate Jack Miller at the factory team for the 2021 MotoGP season.

The Italian joined the Pramac team after clinching the 2018 Moto2 title and has been performing at his highest level so far in the premier MotoGP series, recording a career-best second place at the San Marino and Rimini GP.

The 23-year-old had been on course to follow up his first MotoGP podium with victory until a late-race fall took him out of contention at the second Misano race, having led comfortably until that point after taking the lead from fifth on the grid.

“I’d chosen to be a Ducati rider even before becoming a Moto2 World Champion in 2018, and they had chosen me even before I had known that one day I would become one,” Bagnaia said.

“It was our bet because until that moment I had always been a fast rider, but I had nothing concrete under my belt: Ducati decided to believe in it even before everyone else.

“We didn’t know how it was going to go, but to this day, if I had to go back, I’d do it all over again. My MotoGP debut was not easy, but at Ducati, they never questioned me: they gave me all the support and confidence that a rookie needs and they let me do experience in 2019. I listened to them, I trusted them, together we learned to know each other and understand each other, and now we form a great team.

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“They taught me a method of work that allowed us to take away some nice satisfactions and I think that’s just the beginning. Today I am the happiest person in the world, for me, it is a dream come true: being an official Ducati rider has always been my ambition, and I succeeded together with all of those who had always believed in me even when things did not go well.

“A special thank goes to Claudio Domenicali, Gigi Dall’Igna, Paolo Ciabatti and Davide Tardozzi for the trust, to the Pramac Racing Team that welcomed me as a family and to the VR46 Riders Academy that has always supported me all these years.”

Bagnaia currently sits in 13th position in the rider standings but missed three races earlier this year after a fall during the Czech GP weekend at Brno, resulting in a fractured right tibia.

In spite of his injury, he has impressed engineers with his capabilities on the bike and his adaptive riding style that has suited the 2020 Michelin tyres according to the team.

“Racing is an evolving advanced technology incubator that is a fundamental part of our company,” Ducati CEO, Claudio Domenicali said.

“It is essential to continue to invest in research and development and not to be afraid to innovate and renew to be successful.

“That’s why I am thrilled with the inclusion of young and talented riders who make us look to the future with optimism and a constant desire to improve. Pecco and Jack have shown this year that hey can take advantage of the potential of our Desmosedici GP and have earned this opportunity. Their transition to the official team from the Pramac Racing Team, where they both grew up, is proof of the efficient collaboration that binds us to the team of Paolo Campinoti, which I would like to thank.

Bagnaia and Miller‘s signing will combine for a totally new Ducati line-up for next season, replacing Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso.