As predicted by AMCN, Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia has signed a two-year deal with the Pramac Ducati team for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Aussie Jack Miller only has a one-year deal with the squad, but his teammate Danilo Petrucci revealed at the Sepang test that the 2018 season would be his last at the satellite squad.
It’s thought Ducati might be preparing the young Italian talent for a ride in the factory squad in years to come, in much the same way it did when it drafted countryman Andrea Iannone into the team before elevating him to the factory seat alongside Andrea Dovizioso.
Of course the post-season test at Valencia this year won’t be the 22-year old’s first ride on a MotoGP machine.
After scoring six podiums and two wins in the 2016 Moto3 world championship with the Pull & Bear Aspar Mahindra team, Bagnaia was given two sessions on the Aspar Ducati GP15 as a gift for his performance.
A graduate of the VR46 riding academy, Pecco will contest his second year in Moto2 during the 2018 season riding for the SKY Racing Team VR46 outfit, with which he earned Rookie of the Year last season.
He’ll be the second VR46 rider to take the leap into the premier class following reigning Moto2 world champ Franco Morbidelli.
After four years in the Moto3 category and with a best finish of fourth, Pecco moved into the intermediate category where his four podiums and a string of point-scoring finishes earned him fifth overall in the standings.
The recent signing makes Bagnaia the fourth rider to have a signed contract for the 2019 MotoGP season, joining Maverick Vińales (Yamaha, 2019-2020), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda, 2019) and Xavier Simeon (Avintia Ducati, 2019).