A changing of the guard is taking place at Ducati next season when half of its six-strong line-up consists of MotoGP rookies.

The average age at the Factory team will also drop from 32 to 25 years old, with triple title runner-up Andrea Dovizioso (34) and double race winner Danilo Petrucci (30) replaced by Pramac duo Jack Miller (26 at the start of next season) and Francesco Bagnaia (24).

With six premier-class seasons under his belt, Miller also takes over as the factory's most experienced rider, although well short of the 13 years of MotoGP knowledge Dovizioso had gathered by the end of this year.

Johann Zarco (30) will move to Pramac next year alongside rookie Jorge Martin (23) with fellow Moto2 stars Enea Bastianini (22) and Luca Marini (23) forming an all-new line-up at Avintia following the departure of Tito Rabat (31).

All of which means Ducati starts next season without a proven Desmosedici race-winner on its bikes, Miller being the only one of the six to have stood on the top step of a MotoGP podium, for Marc VDS Honda, at Assen 2016.

But with Miller (4), Bagnaia (1) and Zarco (1) all featuring on the rostrum this year, Ducati has bet on Miller and Bagnaia's upward trajectory soon surpassing the level of Dovizioso and Petrucci.

More podiums will also be expected from Zarco after the Frenchman's machinery upgrade, while the factory hopes to strike gold with the rookies (new Moto2 champion Bastianini, in particular, is seen as playing a big part in Ducati's future).

"It’s great to see new blood coming in," Miller said. "It’s about that time. A lot of the guys have been here a really long time.

"To see them go is always sad, but it gives a great hope for the next generation of guys coming through. Time goes on. People have to move forward.

"It's cool to see some young guys coming in for sure… We might have the next Fabio on a Ducati and making us all look silly!"

Fabio Quartararo was the least qualified of four MotoGP rookies that joined the grid in 2019, but delivered a stunning debut season for Petronas Yamaha, claiming seven podiums and six pole positions.

Bagnaia, one of the fellow rookies left in Quartararo's 2019 wake, described Ducati's revamped line-up and lean towards young riders as a good balance.

"I think it’s the best line-up. A lot of rookies, a lot of experience," said the Italian. "Zarco will help us too. The Ducati line-up will be very competitive for next year. "

Bagnaia, who took his first MotoGP podium this season and looked set for a victory until falling from the lead in Misano, also pledged to help fellow VR46 Academy member Marini adapt to the Ducati.

"All three rookies are very competitive and very fast, Luca, Bastia and Martin," he said.

"I will try to help Luca adapt to the Ducati. It’s not easy, but I think his riding style is already closer to (what the Ducati needs) than my one was. I had to work a lot on it but his is closer."

Although he's only spent four years in the premier-class, double Moto2 champion Zarco already has experience of four different MotoGP machines (Yamaha, KTM, Honda and Ducati) taking seven podiums and five pole positions.

That includes making history for Avintia with the team's first-ever podium and pole on a year-old GP19 this season, the bike Marini and Bastianini will campaign in 2021.

"I don’t have much advice to give because they are strong enough and clever enough to learn quickly," Zarco said of the Bastianini, Marini line-up.

"Overall, Bastianini I think will learn quicker than Marini, but Marini has shown that with work he can control the situation well.

"Just about natural gift I will say that Bastianini can adapt quicker, but really Marini has good people around him to learn the things he needs to do."

Of new Pramac team-mate Martin, Zarco added: "I think Jorge will adapt well, the way he is riding in Moto2 I see things that I think mean he will have the talent to really adapt.

"Overall with Pramac they have so much experience and he will have I think a Spanish group [around him] so he will feel good quickly."

'It’ll be pleasant with him gone!'

Although pleased to see new riders getting a MotoGP chance in 2021, among those departing the full-time grid will be Miller's good friend and former LCR team-mate Cal Crutchlow, who is switching to the role of Yamaha test rider.

What will Miller miss most about Crutchlow?

"Nothing! Not one thing! It’ll be pleasant with him gone!" he joked. "Always sad seeing that. He’ll still be around though. He won’t sit at home. He has some things in his mind. It’ll be exciting to see what he does with the next chapter. A cool time.

"He has the right idea and the right approach for that next step. You see a lot of the guys, they get lost. Cal understands and knows. He enjoys a lot spending time with his wife and daughter. You can’t blame him. At 35 he’s had an amazing career, for someone that people had a lot of doubts for.

"I hope to see him at a few races next year. Hopefully, things will sort themselves out [with Covid] and people will be able to come to the paddock again."