Tito Rabat stays in MotoGP for 2020; Avintia drops Ducati?

Tito Rabat lands two more years in MotoGP with Avintia Racing, but will the team replace its Ducatis with Suzukis or Aprilias?

Tito Rabat Avintia Racing Ducait

TITO RABAT has secured a two-year extension to remain in the MotoGP World Championship until the end of the 2021 season after re-signing with Avintia Racing as the team dropped a hint that it won’t use Ducati machinery next year.

Rabat’s place in the Avintia team had looked to be under threat as paddock chatter placed him provisionally into a potential seat alongside Jonathan Rea at the Kawasaki Racing Team in the WorldSBK series.

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However, ahead of the Czech Republic Grand Prix – home race for his team-mate and heavy backer Karel Abraham – Avintia confirms Tito Rabat, the 2014 Moto2 champion, will in fact remain for next season and beyond.

“I’m very happy that I signed for two more years with my team," the Spaniard, currently competing in his fourth season of MotoGP. "The best news is that we are going to have factory bikes from 2020, which is crucial to our goal of fighting for top positions in every race.

"The MotoGP class is more competitive than ever and you need to have the best machinery to get good results. I want to thank Raúl for his confidence in me. We had a difficult start into this year, but we got stronger in the last few races.

"Knowing that I will continue for two more seasons is a boost to my confidence and I’m sure I‘ll be back stronger in the second half of the championship.”

Will Avintia drop Ducati for Suzuki or Aprilia?

What he will ride, however, remains open to speculation as Avintia revealed it has secured ‘state-of-the-art bikes with the latest factory specifications, as well as a factory technical crew'.

With Avintia Racing – which uses year-old Ducati machines now - deemed unlikely to be getting a fleet of latest specification Desmos in 2020 alongside both the factory team and the satellite Pramac outfit, it suggests it is going to become a customer partner with one of the remaining manufacturers without one – namely Suzuki or Aprilia,

Avintia has openly spoken about discussions with both firms, but both have been coy about the potential to expand to four bikes for 2020.

It means only two rides are available on the 2020 MotoGP grid, but they are Jack Miller’s Pramac Ducati ride and Takaaki Nakagami’s LCR Honda, both of whom are expected to remain next year.