Johann Zarco's 2020 destination looks to have been decided following the news that Karel Abraham has announced an end to his MotoGP career, freeing up a place for the Frenchman at the Reale Avintia team.

Although Abraham, like team-mate Tito Rabat, had a contract to continue at Avintia, it became increasingly clear during the Valencia season finale that the team, Dorna, the French GP promoter and Ducati were trying to accommodate Zarco for 2020.

Zarco, who had been hoping to secure the Repsol Honda ride given to Alex Marquez, initially dismissed the Avintia option as 'not a top team'. However further talks were held between Zarco and Ducati to soothe the concerns of the former Tech3, KTM and LCR rider, while a subsequent Avintia announcement boasted of closer ties to Ducati in 2020.

Although Abraham took part in the Valencia test on the GP19s to be used by Avintia next season and made clear he had a contract for 2020, the Czech Rider also referenced certain things that needed to be discussed with the team.

Social media posts by the Brno Circuit, owned by Abraham's father, stated that Karel had announced his exit from MotoGP during a meet and greet with fans on Saturday night: "@karel_abraham17 at a meeting with fans announced the end in @motogp... It is a sad day for all domestic fans."

Abraham made his grand prix debut in the 125cc class in 2005, stepping up to 250cc in 2007 and claiming his sole GP victory in the 2010 Valencia Moto2 race.

The 29-year-old has raced Ducati, Aprilia (ART) and Honda machinery during eight seasons in the premier-class, initially for his father's Cardion AB team, then Aspar and finally Avintia.

Abraham, whose best MotoGP finish was seventh place, also spent the 2016 season in WorldSBK on a Milwaukee BMW.

Avintia is yet to confirm Abraham's exit or Zarco's arrival, although the Frenchman could now be present at the Jerez test on Monday to make his debut on what would be a fourth different brand of MotoGP machine in just over a year.

Otherwise, Zarco would need to wait for Sepang in February to try the Ducati.

Zarco's looming switch to Avintia also means that Marc VDS is still in need of a replacement for reigning Moto2 champion Alex Marquez.

 

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