Ducati will supply four factory-specification bikes for the first time in its MotoGP history, which sporting director Paolo Ciabatti hopes will provide key competition between its riders alongside increased development.

With Jack Miller’s future at Pramac Ducati finally announced following a contract saga, the Italian manufacturer confirmed the Australian rider will contest the 2020 season with a Desmosedici GP20.

It gives Miller the same specification as the factory duo Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci plus his team-mate Francesco Bagnaia who secured the upgrade as part of his current deal.

While the confirmation expands Ducati’s factory bike effort to four machines, having provided just one latest specification bike to Pramac since 2017, Ciabatti wants the move to trigger increased development rates through greater feedback and more competition within its own ranks.

“We are really glad to have reached an agreement with Pramac Racing that will allow our factory supported team to field Desmosedici GP 20 bikes for both Jack and Pecco next year,” Ciabatti said.

“It will be the first time that Ducati will have four identical bikes in MotoGP, two for the factory Ducati Team and two for Pramac Racing.

“This exceptional effort will help us to collect and share more information and improve the development process, with the aim of obtaining even better results and stimulate a fair and positive competition among our riders.”

As Miller’s contract negotiations conclude, following rumours linking Jorge Lorenzo to a dramatic Ducati return at Pramac over the Austrian MotoGP weekend, Ciabatti has heralded the Australian’s “continuous progress” as justification for his deal.

“We are very pleased that Jack will continue with us next year, because he has shown continuous progress since he joined us in 2018, and want to thank Pramac Racing for their continued commitment to Ducati,” he said.

Miller’s Pramac Ducati deal sees just two places on the 2020 MotoGP grid left to be filled officially: Johann Zarco’s Red Bull KTM spot and Takaaki Nakagami’s LCR Honda ride – with the latter expected to re-sign in the coming weeks.

 

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