Ousted KTM MotoGP rider Johann Zarco has revealed he has signed a deal with Ducati to race for the satellite Avintia squad in 2020.
Zarco became linked to the Avintia team during the Valencia season finale, after it became clear he would not be getting the works Honda vacated by the retired Jorge Lorenzo.
The double Moto2 champion initially rejected the link when asked by Motorsport.com in Valencia, stating he would rather return to the intermediate class as Avintia is “not a top team”.
However, Zarco held talks with Ducati management on the Monday after the Valencia race, with Avintia announcing later that day that it would become an official satellite partner to Ducati for 2020 – a move thought to have paved the way for Zarco to come on board.
His signing took another step forward when Karel Abraham confirmed last week that he had lost his place within Avintia.
Speaking with French publication Moto Journal, Zarco revealed the deal is done and that Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall’Igna convinced him to “trust” him that he would be provided with good support.
“It’s a fact that Luigi Dall’Igna told me that I could trust him in deciding to sign for Avintia next year,” Zarco said.
“As I still doubted the ability of the Avintia team, I went to see my former chief mechanic Massimo Branchini. Massimo told me to trust Luigi.
“It’s Luigi Dall’Igna who will take care of finding me a good chief mechanic.”
Zarco also says he does not “consider” himself to have signed for Avintia, but rather directly to Ducati, and has his sights set on stepping up to the works team in ’21.
“Besides, I do not consider that I signed with Avintia, but with Ducati,” he added. “My goal for 2020 is be no lower than 10th, to be in the top seven and join the official team in 2021.”