2019 MotoGP Line Up Nearly Complete: Karel Abraham Signs 2-Year Deal With Avintia

The 2019 MotoGP grid is now as good as complete. Today, the Reale Avintia squad announced they have signed a two-year contract with Karel Abraham which will see him racing a Ducati for the team for the next two seasons.

The announcement had been widely expected. Xavier Simeon has not lived up to expectations and failed to adapt to MotoGP, and Avintia were looking for a replacement. Abraham had been left without a team after the Aspar / Angel Nieto Team passed their grid slots to the Petronas Yamaha team, which had already signed riders for the coming season. Abraham needed a team, and Avintia needed a rider who could bring money, to replace the money lost when Simeon departed.

Though formally, there are two seats still officially without a contracted rider - the second Reale Avintia seat, and the second LCR Honda seat - those rides are already taken. Tito Rabat will stay on for another year at Avintia, once he returns from his serious injury picked up at Silverstone, and Taka Nakagami will extend his contract with LCR Honda. All that is needed is the official confirmation.

The 2019 MotoGP rider line up appears below. 

2019 and beyond
Rider Bike Contract through
Movistar Yamaha
Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 2020
Maverick Viñales Yamaha M1 2020
Repsol Honda
Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 2020
Jorge Lorenzo Honda RC213V 2020
Ecstar Suzuki
Alex Rins Suzuki GSX-RR 2020
Joan Mir Suzuki GSX-RR 2020
Gresini Aprilia
Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 2020
Andrea Iannone Aprilia RS-GP 2020
KTM Factory
Johann Zarco KTM RC16 2020
Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 2020
Factory Ducati
Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP19 2020
Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP19 2019
Pramac Ducati
Pecco Bagnaia Ducati GP19? 2020
Jack Miller Ducati GP19 2019
LCR Honda
Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 2020
Takaaki Nakagami Honda RC213V 2019?
Tech3 KTM
Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 2019
Hafizh Syahrin KTM RC16 2019
Petronas SIC Yamaha
Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 (factory) 2019
Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 (satellite) 2019
Avintia Ducati
Karel Abraham Ducati GP18 2020
Tito Rabat Ducati GP18 2019?

The Avintia press release appears below:

Reale Avintia Racing is pleased to announce a two-year agreement reached with Karel Abraham that will see the 28 year-old Czech rider will compete in MotoGP World Championship with Ducati in 2019 and 2020.

Karel Abraham’s debut in the World Championship was in 2005 in 125cc and after two seasons he moved up to 250cc. In 2010, the same year the Moto2 class started as the new intermediate category, Abraham did a strong season and he ended the year with a podium finish in Japan and wining the race in Valencia.

His debut in MotoGP was in 2011 with Ducati and he completed five seasons before moving to World Superbike. Abraham came back to MotoGP in 2017 and he showed his skills at the Grand Prix of Argentina with front row start and top 10 result in the race.

Karel is a very experienced rider and capable of scoring points in every race. Next season he will race with Reale Avintia Racing team riding a Ducati GP18 and he expects to step forward and get closer to the front.

Karel Abraham

“I’m very happy to continue in Motogp next year and would like to thanks for this opportunity to Reale Avintia Racing Team. We signed in Silverstone because it was very important for me to finalise every detail of the contract in order to get competitive machinery. This worked out also thanks to a big help of Luigi Dall’Igna and Paolo Ciabatti from Ducati factory. The important part is, that it will be Ducati GP18 with the newest specification, which has a good results from this season. Thanks to that I believe, that we will be able to make some really good results and I am already very excited about the next season.”

Raúl Romero | CEO Esponsorama

“I’m very happy to see Karel Abraham joining our team. He is a hard worker, has won in Moto2, and has a lot of experience in MotoGP and with Ducati. I think that with better material and with the work of the whole team, next year Karel will be able to show its true potential. And I’m also happy to announce that we will continue with Ducati for two more seasons.”

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Cal's contract goes through 2020 season I thought.

Xavi only got 1 year, I would have MUCH rather seen him get another chance than to have Karel take up space for another 2 years. Karel is 4th tier right with Xavi

Oh boy!
Abraham performs well enough to get a GP18!
(Performance quantified by his father's Euros)

For the first part of the season this will be one of the very best bikes ever on the best grid in existence. With Karel Abraham on it. Reminds me of having a sleepover at my childhood friend's house and attending mass for the first time. Such a gorgeous cathedral! God! Jesus! Fantastic! Then they said I could have it all, as a teensy hard stale sorta-yuck-choking cardboard almost cracker. I saw the book, it said bread.

(Speaking of which, when the Pope came to Marquez, did he know? A saint just has to perform ONE miracle. How many times has Marc been Saved? Was it not a meeting of peers?)

This is the last holdout of pay to play backmarker. Good riddance. The team has done a few interesting things in lower classes. But up here, coming in with the most CRT of bikes (Kawasaki Superbike motor) is a tepid mark. Then third string Ducatis.

With a few different stars in line it could be a Suzuki satellite, with one seasoned rider and one youngster. Almost there. Until then, hit the snooze button and welcome to the two last years of the CRT holdovers with Karel. Rabat, feel free to prove me wrong about the team when your leg heals up...you have made a good go of things once you got away from the satellite Honda. Erp, uhm, well...you may need to continue to keep an eye out for them eh?


look, I'm not the type to come on here (my favorite site) and just spout off about riders who I think don't belong (as if I'm some sort of expert), but every single year I get more and more frustrated that this guy still gets a MotoGP ride! This year especially with other more talented (again, in my opinion) riders: Redding, Smith and Bautista are FAR more talented riders and they can't even get a good test ride contract! Tom Luthi finally gets a GP ride, and much like Lowes, his fate is sealed as soon as he throws a leg over arguably the second worst bike on the grid.

I can't stand the commentators either when Abraham gets a random top 5 qualifying or something "Abraham proving he belongs" really??? I watched him wait up to get a tow from #93!

Whenever I see the tag line "MotoGP, the pinnicle of motorcycle racing, only the best riders in the world" I just feel like even his presence on the grid invalidates that statement. There must be at least 5 SBK guys deserve a GP ride yet this guy can hang around and take up space cause he's got too much money. I know I'm going overboard here but at this point its getting ridiculous. MotoGP the most talented rider in the world... and Karel Abraham.

OK, sorry, that was mean, rant over, I'll calm down now

It would have been good to see Bautista or even Redding on that GP18 for sure but nothing trumps the almighty $$$$