Johann Zarco has praised Ducati’s choice of Enea Bastianini as his likely replacement in the Avintia Racing team for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship, saying he has impressed in the feeder grand prix classes.

The Italian, currently second in the Moto2 World Championship standings with two wins to his name, is only in his sophomore campaign in the intermediate category with Italtrans, but was given the nod over countryman and title rival Luca Marini for the position.

Confirming a Ducati contract during the Moto2 press conference at Misano this evening, though Bastianini declines to say which team he will be placed at, Avintia Racing boss Ruben Xaus has already confirmed the 22-year old is en route for 2021.

He will take the spot currently held by Zarco, the Frenchman set to be promoted to either Pramac Racing or the factory Ducati team on the strength of his headline-grabbing results aboard the year-old Ducati GP19, including a pole position and podium at Brno.

Though Zarco is also refusing to confirm his 2021 destination, the Frenchman was praiseworthy for Ducati’s choice of Bastianini to replace him, saying he has a chance to continue the momentum he has created now the manufacturer is providing greater support to the Spanish effort.

“I already said that next year I will move up to Ducati in Pramac or the factory team, so that is very positive news for me. I won’t stay in Avintia, and now in this good work from Avintia and the investment in Ducati, plus the good results I’ve had, I’m still wanting to have great results with them, 

“It is good for them to bring the Moto2 riders to the Ducati team like Avintia. For Bastianini, the way he won races in Moto2, I have been very impressed by him.

“ I think he will understand the MotoGP bike because he has this talent from Moto3 that he was fast. He didn’t take too much time to be fast, then in Moto2 it seems a bit more complicated but you can see when he is feeling good he has even more confidence. 

“It is not easy to have this step but  he has impressed, he will understand the MotoGP [bike].”

Bastianini’s placement at Avintia Racing is further indication of Ducati’s closer relationship with Avintia Racing, which was upgraded to a second string satellite status for 2020 on the strength of Zarco’s arrival, having previously relied more heavily on riders who could bring investment.



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