After three very difficult seasons with Yamaha, Morbidelli will replace Johann Zarco at Pramac Ducati where he will be aboard full factory machinery. 

The Italian, who will ride alongside Jorge Martin, has struggled for consistent form since being runner-up to Joan Mir in 2020, albeit a severe knee injury and Yamaha’s own difficult period has also been a leading reason as to why.

Morbidelli has been close to Fabio Quartararo in terms of performance so far this season, and with Zarco moving to Honda and Marco Bezzecchi choosing to stay at Mooney VR46, the decision to sign Morbidelli was then made by Ducati. 

"It will be interesting to see what he can do," said Martin. "It is important to have a competitive rider by my side because this season we are fighting for the ‘Teams world championship’ and that is because my teammate is also super strong. 

"Hopefully we keep the same next season and Franco can adapt and be competitive straight away." 

Morbidelli’s switch to Ducati will also mean all four VR46 academy riders are on Ducati machinery. 

Speaking about the addition of Morbidelli to Ducati, Bagnaia admitted he doesn’t think it will make a big difference to how they train, but that it will be an opportunity for the Yamaha rider to compare himself to those at the top of the championship.

Bagnaia added: "I don’t know if it will change for me or for us in training. I’m just happy to have Franco on a Ducati because I think he deserves this opportunity. 

"In the last years in Yamaha it was not the best situation possible. He arrived from an injury in 2021 and he moved from a very old bike to a new bike. 

"It was not a big difference but many things changed like the crew chief. So it was not easy for him. 

"He will be on the same bike and we can speak about our bikes because sometimes we were speaking about our bikes but it’s impossible to compare. I’m very happy and I think he deserves it."