Enea Bastianini lands Avintia Ducati ride for 2021 MotoGP

Enea Bastianini is the first rookie to be confirmed to the 2021 MotoGP grid after revealing a Ducati contract that will place him at Avintia Racing

Johann Zarco - Avintia Ducati

Another small piece of the 2021 MotoGP jigsaw puzzle has been put into place after Enea Bastianini confirmed he will step up to the premier class with Ducati next year.

The Italian, currently in the midst of the 2020 Moto2 title battle, will be placed at the Avintia Racing team, replacing Johann Zarco who will compete with either the factory Ducati team or move to Pramac Racing.

Though he declines to formally say which team he has signed for, Avintia Racing boss Ruben Xaus has confirmed the 22-year old is incoming.

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“I have signed with Ducati and for the moment I don’t know the team, but in the next week it will be possible to confirm this,” he confirmed.

“For me it is really important to be next year with Ducati, it is a good family for me - an Italian bike and me an Italian - it is possible to make me faster in MotoGP!”

Surprisingly for some, Bastianini - who is competing in his second season of Moto2 - got the nod for the ride over title rival and Valentino Rossi’s half-brother Luca Marini.

However, he has won a fan in his Avintia Racing predecessor Zarco, who says Bastianini is well placed to maintain the momentum he has built up with the relative minnow Spanish outfit, following his landmark pole position and podium in Brno.

“I already said that next year I will move up to Ducati in Pramac or the factory team, so that is very positive news for me. I won’t stay in Avintia, and now in this good work from Avintia and the investment in Ducati, plus the good results I’ve had, I’m still wanting to have great results with them, 

“It is good for them to bring the Moto2 riders to the Ducati team like Avintia. For Bastianini, the way he won races in Moto2, I have been very impressed by him.

“ I think he will understand the MotoGP bike because he has this talent from Moto3 that he was fast. He didn’t take too much time to be fast, then in Moto2 it seems a bit more complicated but you can see when he is feeling good he has even more confidence. 

“It is not easy to have this step but he has impressed, he will understand the MotoGP [bike].”

Bastianini’s appointment is further indication of Ducati and Avintia Racing’s closer ties.

Indeed, while Avintia Racing formerly competed as a privateer outfit that purchased its bikes from Ducati, it was upgraded to second string satellite status on the back of Zarco’s signing. Like the five-time podium winner, Bastianini is on a Ducati - rather than Avintia - contract.

A Moto3 runner-up, Bastianini is currently in his second season of Moto2 and has notched up his maiden victories this season in Jerez and Brno.

2021 MotoGP World Championship Rider Line-up (so far)

2021 MotoGP World Championship Rider Line-up
TeamRider #1Rider #2
Aprilia Racing Team GresiniAleix EspargaroTBC (Dovizioso/Iannone/Crutchlow
Avintia Racing DucatiEnea BastianiniTito Rabat
Ducati TeamJack MillerTBC (Zarco/Bagnaia)
Pramac Racing DucatiTBC (Zarco/Bagnaia)TBC (Martin)
LCR HondaAlex MarquezTBC (Nakagami)
Repsol Honda TeamMarc MarquezPol Espargaro
Red Bull KTM FactoryBrad BinderMiguel Oliveira
Red Bull KTM Tech 3Danilo PetrucciIker Lecuona
Team Suzuki EcstarAlex RinsJoan Mir
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGPMaverick VinalesFabio Quartararo
Petronas SRT YamahaFranco MorbidelliTBA (Rossi)