Tito Rabat is the only Ducati rider on the 2020 MotoGP grid that isn't directly contracted to the factory.

Instead, Rabat's deal is with the Avintia team, for which he will race a year-old GP19 alongside new team-mate Johann Zarco.

But despite being the only one of Ducatis six riders not under direct contract, Rabat says he's being supported in exactly the same way as Zarco.

"All the other Ducati riders have a Ducati contract. I'm the only one with a Reale Avintia contract," Rabat told the official MotoGP website. "But to be honest from the first day I've had the same support as Johann.

"He is focussed on his job and the rest he doesn't care [about]. I like these types of riders. To be honest, I'm like this also."

Zarco's arrival has also helped strengthen the relationship between Avintia and Ducati this season.

"I'm happy with the team I have, which is very professional," Rabat said. "And I'm happy with the competitive bike I have.

"I think it's the most competitive bike and professional team I've had. I see that if I'm focussed and keep strong, we can do important things this year."

Rabat concluded pre-season testing 17th out of 22 riders at the Qatar test, but was just 0.816s from fastest man Maverick Vinales (Yamaha). Zarco was 14th quickest (+0.707s).

"I'm not happy with the pre-season [in terms of] the position, but what I can see is that this championship is getting closer every time and riders that are not in an official team have more chance every year. Of course, not for the top 3, but to finish in the top 8-10.

"Overall, I think it was the most positive I've had in any pre-season."

It's still to be confirmed exactly when Rabat and his MotoGP rivals will get to race this season, but a late-July start at Jerez is currently being planned, pending the coronavirus restrictions.

Meanwhile, Rabat is the only satellite rider to already have a place confirmed on the 2021 grid, having signed a two-year contract extension with Avintia during last season.

Avintia is the only Ducati team using year-old machinery, but the technical freeze means they should join Pramac and the Official team on 2020-spec machines next year.

 

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