Tito Rabat, whose place at Reale Avintia Racing was in doubt for 2020, has re-signed to stay at the team for the next two years.

An Avintia statement added that the squad 'now aims at getting state-of-the-art bikes with the latest factory specifications, as well as a factory technical crew'.

Avintia currently uses year-old Ducati machinery and the identity of their planned 'factory' machinery is unclear.

However, assuming Avintia are targetting 2020-spec bikes, it would seem difficult to get them from Ducati since the Italian manufacturer is already under pressure to provide a fourth GP20 entry to keep Jack Miller at Pramac next season.

So might Avintia also be in talks with Suzuki or Aprilia, which are currently without a satellite team?

Either way, Rabat's team-mate Karel Abraham is in the first year of a two-year contract and so is set to remain on the other Avintia machine. Meanwhile, Rabat - whose MotoGP career looked in trouble - has become the first signing for the 2021 season.

'Today’s announcement puts an end to the latest rumours that had Rabat looking for a ride in WSBK. It also confirms that Raúl Romero’s team will continue in the MotoGP World Championship stronger than ever,' the Avintia statement added.

“I’m very happy that I signed for two more years with my team," said former Moto2 world champion Rabat, a premier-class rider since 2016. "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.”

Following his serious accident during last year's British Grand Prix, Rabat struggled during the first part of this year's championship, with Avintia speaking openly of finding a young rookie rider to push the team forward in 2020.

But one of the rumoured possibilities, Lorenzo Baldassarri, has now been confirmed as staying in Moto2 and title leader Alex Marquez's Marc VDS team is confident he will do likewise.

Meanwhile, Rabat - who had been linked to a Kawasaki WorldSBK seat - has returned to form in recent rounds, placing ninth in Catalunya and close to the top 10 in Germany.

“It is a pleasure to announce that Tito will continue with us for the next two seasons," said team CEO Raúl Romero. "There has been a lot of talk about Tito’s future and the future of the team, but with this announcement we made it clear that we are moving forward together and that we will be stronger than ever before.

"The team grew steadily since we arrived in MotoGP and the next step is to get factory machines, the same way as all the other independent teams in the championship.

"We are working on this right now and we are also in negotiations with a big sponsor that perfectly matches the size of the project we are planning for the upcoming seasons.”

KTM currently supplies the most 'factory' machines on the grid, with four bikes (two at the official team and two at Tech3). Honda, Ducati and Yamaha have three such machines, two at their official team plus one at a satellite team.

Rabat's deal means the only 2020 MotoGP seats yet to be officially decided are at LCR Honda and Pramac Ducati, where Takaaki Nakagami and Miller are expected to stay put respectively.

Click Here for the updated 2020 MotoGP rider line-up

 

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