As rumoured, Francesco Bagnaia has signed a two-year deal directly with Ducati and will be placed at the satellite Pramac team for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The 21-year-old Italian will spend the upcoming season in Moto2 with the VR46 team on Kalex machinery with the focus of sealing the world title before his move to MotoGP.

“Next year I will make one of my dreams come true," Bagnaia said.

“I have often said that I would have liked to race in MotoGP riding a Ducati and it will finally happen and for me it is a great result and for this I have to thank the Team, Sky and the VR46 Riders Academy, for all the support and for following me in my path of growth in the last 5 seasons, of which three in the Sky Racing Team VR46.

"But now, it is important to stay focused on this last season in Moto2. We have a great opportunity."

After impressing in Moto3 in 2016 with two race wins, one pole position and four further rostrum results Bagnaia stepped up to Moto2 last year and was immediately competitive with back-to-back podiums at Jerez and Le Mans.

Further rostrums followed at Sachsenring and Misano as well as a handful of top five finishes to see him take fifth place and the top rookie honour in his maiden campaign in Moto2.

With Petrucci confirming he will leave the Pramac Ducati squad at the end of the 2018 MotoGP season, Bagnaia is expected to be his direct replacement and will get his first experience with the team at the post-season Valencia tests in November.

While Petrucci appears unlikely to get the factory team promotion he had been hoping for - and is rumoured to be in Aprilia's sights for 2019 - Bagnaia will aim to follow in the footsteps of Andrea Iannone, who progressed from Pramac to spend two years at the official Ducati team.

Bagnaia tested for Aspar Ducati at Valencia in 2016 as a reward for his success with Aspar Mahindra in Moto3.

Ducati signed Jack Miller from Honda on a one-year deal to join Petrucci for 2018.


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