Pecco Bagnaia is to move up to MotoGP with the Pramac Ducati team in 2019 and 2020. The news was announced on Twitter by the SkyVR46 team, and confirmed by Bagnaia himself on his Twitter feed.
The move is not a surprise. Bagnaia had been widely tipped to move to MotoGP with Ducati, with Paolo Ciabatti admitting at the launch back in January that the Italian factory had an interest in the 21 year old.
Bagnaia's contract is official confirmation that Danilo Petrucci will be leaving the Pramac team at the end of this season. Petrucci's current contract with Ducati contains a clause granting him a seat in the factory Ducati team, if a seat is open. As yet, there are no open seats in the factory team, with Ducati expected to sign both Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo to new contracts.
The signing of Bagnaia is the second contract to be finalized in the 2018 MotoGP Silly Season, after Maverick Viñales signed on with Yamaha for two years, and testing is not even complete yet. More is likely to come, and sooner rather than later.
The press release from the Alma Pramac Team appears below the Tweet from Pecco Bagnaia:
“What do you want to be when you grow up?"— Francesco Bagnaia (@PeccoBagnaia) February 21, 2018
"I want to drive a Ducati in MotoGP.”
Today I grew up and from 2019 I will ride a Ducati in MotoGP; Thank to @DucatiMotor , @pramacracing , @SkyRacingTeam , @VRRidersAcademy pic.twitter.com/6bYmAa2pmn
Alma Pramac Racing announces agreement with Pecco Bagnaia for 2019 and 2020 MotoGP seasons
The Italian rider signed a contract directly with Ducati
Alma Pramac Racing announces that it has reached an agreement with Francesco Bagnaia for the 2019 and 2020 MotoGP seasons. The Italian rider, who signed a contract directly with Ducati, will step on board the Ducati Desmosedici GP of Alma Pramac Racing during the next official Valencia tests at the end of the 2018 MotoGP season.
Francesco "Pecco" Bagnaia was born in Turin on 14 January 1997 and made his debut in the Moto3 world championship in the 2013 season. In 2014 he joined the SKY Racing Team VR46, scoring his best result with a fourth place at Le Mans in France. After his first podium finish in the 2015 French Grand Prix, the following year Bagnaia was one of the Moto3 protagonists with two victories and four podiums that allowed him to finish fourth in the championship standings. In 2017 Pecco moved to Moto2 with the SKY Racing Team VR46 and had a great season (four times on the podium with two second places), finishing 5th in the championship standings and winning the Rookie of the Year trophy.
THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 ACHIEVES ITS MOST IMPORTANT GOAL
IT IS OFFICIAL THE DEBUT OF FRANCESCO BAGNAIA IN MOTOGP: FROM THE NEXT SEASON HE WILL BE ON THE DUCATI OF THE PRAMAC RACING TEAM
FIVE YEARS SINCE THE BIRTH OF THE SKY-VR46 PROJECT, FOR THE FIRST TIME, A YOUNG ITALIAN RIDER GROWN IN THE TEAM ARRIVES IN MOTOGP
Milan, February 21st 2018. The Sky Racing Team VR46 has hit its most important goal of identifying the young Italian riders, making them grow and helping them to become the champions of the future. In fact, it is now official the debut of Francesco Bagnaia in MotoGP in 2019. From next season the young Italian rider, supported in these years by the Sky-VR46 project, will continue his professional career in MotoGP on the Ducati of the Pramac Racing Team.
This is a prestigious result for Sky and the VR46 of Valentino Rossi, which have been working together with the VR46 Riders Academy since 2014 with the aim of enriching the Italian motorcycle movement with new talents.
"Next year I my dreams will come true. Often I have said that I would have like to debut in MotoGP riding a Ducati and it will finally happen.” - says Bagnaia – “For me it is a great result and I have to thank the Team, Sky and the VR46 Riders Academy, for all the support and for following me in my growth path in the last 5 seasons, three with the Sky Racing Team VR46. But now, it is important to stay focused on this last season in Moto2. We have a great opportunity”.
Francesco Bagnaia, after winning the Rookie of the Year title in Moto2 in 2017 with 4 podiums, will race again this year for the Sky Racing Team VR46; alongside him Luca Marini. In Moto3, confirmation for Nicolò Bulega and Dennis Foggia at his debut in the world championship.