UPDATE: Avintia's Ruben Xaus confirms Johann Zarco will leave the team at the end of the season (for either Pramac or the Factory Ducati squad) and that Enea Bastianini is almost certain to be his replacement.

Johann Zarco is content to wait a few more races before hearing Ducati's decision on who will get the remaining factory team ride, alongside Jack Miller, for the 2021 MotoGP season.

The Frenchman confirmed it's now a head-to-head duel between himself and Pramac's Francesco Bagnaia for the coveted place.

"Ducati need still a little time because between Pecco and me they have to decide and Pecco was injured," Zarco said. "It's logical that they have to wait a little bit.

"The best mentality [is not to think just about beating Pecco] because if he is in pain and finishing 15th and I'm finishing 14th we are both not ready for the Factory team. Then it would be complicated for Ducati!

"I hope it’ll be up to Ducati to decide because we are both fighting for the podium."

Of the pair, only Zarco has already taken a MotoGP podium for Ducati (plus six more for Tech3 Yamaha), although Bagnaia was on course for a debut rostrum before technical problems at Jerez, then being injured at Brno. Zarco meanwhile broke a bone in his wrist in Austria.

Either way, both riders have already been assured that they will be given new Ducati contracts for next season.

And Zarco, who delighted Ducati with Avintia's first MotoGP pole and podium this season, is sure that whatever happens he'll be upgraded from the year-old GP19 to latest GP20, meaning he will be moving to either the Factory team or Pramac.

"It's almost sure that I can move up with the bike because the job I did was good and also the information I am giving they are happy with. So it's good for me but also good for them to get in the future my information on the new [GP20] bike," he said.

"The Pramac and Factory bikes are almost the same level so for this reason both would be a super option.

"For me, to be in the Factory team [means] you have to take the place of Dovizioso, who is a contender for podiums every weekend and fighting for the title.

"So they are losing this very important rider, they need a strong rider like this and I would love to be at this level as soon as possible. This is clearly the target, to fight for a championship, when I will be ready. And the feeling is coming.

"So it's a kind of logic; if I fight for podiums then clearly I can deserve this bike.

"Ducati didn't say that to me, but I want to see it like this. If it's Pramac or Factory I can have the same target for next year. Just that being in the Factory team is super prestige and everything is a plus."

After a turbulent 2019, which began on a factory KTM and finished on an LCR Honda, Zarco took a leap of faith by joining back-of-the-grid Avintia after being assured of strong technical support by Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall’Igna.

Further guarantees have been given for 2020, with Zarco revealing he will be able to take his crew chief Marco Rigamonti (Ducati race winner with Andrea Iannone) to whichever team he is placed at next season.

"The advantage of already having a Ducati contract is that my guys, the main ones, will follow me if I go Factory or Pramac. It would be Marco Rigamonti and the guy in charge of electronic," Zarco said.

"So I don't need to start another relationship with a new team and lose a few days of work to know each other. Already what we created this season will be useful next year.

"I'm not stressed because I already have confirmation that I'm staying with Ducati and with something more in the evolution. At the end of last season, I didn't even know where I'd go!"

Moto2 star Enea Bastianini is tipped to take Zarco's place at Avintia next season.



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