Johann Zarco confirmed as Karel Abraham's 2020 MotoGP replacement at Avintia Ducati

Johann Zarco will make his expected switch to Ducati machinery next year with the independent Avintia Racing squad, campaigning a Desmosedici GP19 alongside Esteve Rabat.

The Frenchman will replace Karel Abraham at the Spanish team, the Czech pilot having announced his MotoGP retirement at home in Brno two weeks ago, prior to Zarco's official announcement this evening.

Abraham was thought to hold a contract heading into 2020, but with Ducati keen to offer Zarco a berth within its stable a compromise was made with Avintia to replace Abraham with Zarco, who will also have several Ducati engineers at his disposal.

“I am very pleased to officially announce my signature with Ducati for 2020 season in MotoGP category in the Reale Avintia Racing Team,” wrote Zarco in an Instagram post.

“My left ankle is recovering well, I can enjoy now my winter time having rest with family and training again very soon!”

Avintia and Ducati confirmed they would share a closer co-operation at the MotoGP finale at Valencia last month, with rumours soon circulating that the Italian marque were keen to sign Zarco after the double Moto2 world champion missed out on a factory Honda ride to Alex Marquez.

Zarco impressed in his three races substituting for the injured Takaaki Nakagami after being dropped from the factory KTM outfit prior to the Aragon GP, scoring a best result of 13th in Australia before looking set for a top ten in Malaysia- although lost out after crashing out when tangling with Joan Mir’s Suzuki.