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The remaining factory Ducati Team seat alongside Jack Miller in 2021 is one of the major talking points as we emerge from the opening day of action at the myWorld Austrian Grand Prix.
Talking to Spanish MotoGP™ broadcaster DAZN, Ducati Team Manager Davide Tardozzi confirmed the Bologna factory will be making a decision after the Red Bull Ring doubleheader. It’s been well documented that Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati have failed to come to agreement yet, with Pramac Racing’s Francesco Bagnaia waiting in the wings after an impressive start to 2020.
“As we have always said, we will make a decision after these two races in Austria,” affirmed Tardozzi to DAZN on Friday. “A decision that won’t be conditioned by sporting results and it is not just the last race that will be taken into account.”
But there’s another name in the hat. Five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo – a three-time Grand Prix winner with Ducati – is being linked with a shock return to action if talks with Dovizioso completely break down, and Ducati decide to keep Pecco in the Pramac setup. Tardozzi responded to DAZN’s question about the number 99 coming out of retirement, suggesting it’s definitely not out of the equation:
“Jorge is an important rider for us. He won with us and we keep him in our hearts. We will see.”
Pramac Racing boss Francesco Guidotti also spoke to DAZN on Friday, regarding the possibility of waving Bagnaia off to the factory team – alongside Miller – at the end of the season.
“We are waiting for Ducati, Ducati's decision. On the one hand, we hope that Pecco will stay with us and on the other, it would be a double satisfaction to have our rider in the official team next year because it is part of our job, to train riders who can reach the official team. We will be 50% happy.”
Dovizioso, Bagnaia or Lorenzo. Who will Ducati choose? It’s a fascinating story that the MotoGP™ world will be keeping a very keen eye on, as we eagerly await the Bologna factory’s huge decision.