Francesco Bagnaia to the Ducati factory team?
Could the 2018 Moto2 World Champion make the move to the factory Ducati team alongside Jack Miller?
Francesco Bagnaia has had a fairly impressive start to the season which is news welcomed with open arms following rumours of the Italian swapping places with Johann Zarco at the Avintia team.
Bagnaia had a troublesome start to his MotoGP career at Pramac Ducati amassing 54 points and finishing in P15 overall in the standings in 2019, the Italian ended the year with six DNF’s with four in a row at Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello then Catalunya before finishing the Dutch GP in P14 and didn’t start the final race of the season at Valencia.
He had 2 non-points scoring finishes and usually finished races at the lower end of the point-scoring places, however, showed promise with a fantastic fourth-place finish at Phillip Island.
This brings us to the 2020 season, Ducati is looking to switch up their factory team and openly held talks with Maverick Vinales, Alex Rins, Fabio Quartararo and most importantly Marc Marquez, showing that Ducati is looking for something new. They have already replaced Danilo Petrucci with Jack Miller whilst Petrucci moves over to the Tech3 KTM squad for 2021.
Andrea Dovizioso has been a familiar face at Ducati since 2013, however, the relationship between the pair has faded over the years, highlighted in Red Bull’s ‘undaunted‘ documentary. The rider and manufacturer were in talks for 2021, however, are currently in a stalemate regarding salary with talks re-opening later in August.
In the meantime, Bagnaia has used this as an opportunity to prove himself taking P7 in the first race of the season. At Andalucia he did one better and qualified on the front row before making his way through the pack, including passing VR46 Riders Academy boss Valentino Rossi to P2 and was steadily lapping until disaster struck and his Ducati broke down, cruelly robbing him of his first MotoGP podium.
This will have had Ducati pointing fingers at Bagnaia to see what he can do in the future, if he can keep this form up, he may be joining his teammate in red next year…
Featured image – www.motogp.com