Ducati: No contact with Joan Mir, Bastianini vs Martin for Miller's seat

Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti confirms Enea Bastianini or Jorge Martin will take over Jack Miller’s MotoGP seat at the factory Ducati team in 2023.
Jack Miller, Joan Mir, Algarve MotoGP race, 7 November
Jack Miller, Joan Mir, Algarve MotoGP race, 7 November

Speaking to Dorna's Simon Crafar on Saturday morning in Germany, Ciabatti added that Johann Zarco will remain at Pramac and that rumours of discussions with Suzuki’s 2020 world champion Joan Mir are false.

“We will probably wait until the second race in August to assess a little bit the situation,” Ciabatti said of Francesco Bagnaia’s 2023 team-mate.

“The target for us was to have Enea and Jorge [confirmed] with us next year. I think we’ve reached that target, now we have to decide who goes in the factory team and we want to give Jorge a little bit more of a chance of riding the bike without physical problems and so on.”

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Bastianini is the top Ducati rider in the world championship, in third, having stunned with three wins on Gresini’s GP21 machine so far this season.

Martin, a rookie winner on a GP21 last season, is now riding the latest but perhaps less user-friendly GP22 at Pramac, where he is just twelfth in the standings with two podiums.

But the Spaniard is the second-best qualifier so far this season and underwent right-hand surgery for Carpal Tunnel syndrome after Barcelona.

Joan Mir, German MotoGP, 18 June
Joan Mir, German MotoGP, 18 June

Turning to the Mir rumours, Ciabatti added: “Joan Mir is a great rider, but we never had any contact with him.

"I think the decision is going to be between Jorge and Enea for the factory team and no other riders are included. We will renew with Johann Zarco for Pramac.

“I think this is closing a little bit the gossip about potential new riders coming into the picture.

"I think we have plenty of competitive riders within Ducati and we need to make the best choice between them.”

Mir's expected destination remains Repsol Honda, in place of Pol Espargaro, who is in turn linked with Tech3 KTM.

Meanwhile, RNF boss Razlan Razali denied overnight rumours that Celestino Vietti will be part of next year’s satellite Aprilia line-up.

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