Ducati’s MotoGP team introduced Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia as the 2021 factory riders earlier this month. That recasting resulted in paddock fixture Andrea Dovizioso stepping away from the grid and Danilo Petrucci moving to the Tech 3 KTM squad. It also created a vacuum at Pramac Ducati. Well, that vacancy has been officially filled, with the satellite race team unveiling its 2021 livery and introducing Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin as its new riders.
Starting with the Bologna Bullets, Pramac will enjoy current-spec Desmosedici race bikes in the upcoming MotoGP season. Though the satellite time will run steeds similar to the factory team, Pramac branding and red/blue/white graphics will depart from Ducati’s all-red motif. On the bikes, Zarco moves up to a GP21 after a year aboard the Aventia team’s GP19. Martin will need to adjust even more as a MotoGP rookie.
"Martin is a terrifically talented rookie, while Zarco has a lot of experience,” said Pramac principal Paolo Campinoti. "This will result in a perfect combination of young energy from one side and experience from the other.”
Gallery: 2021 Pramac Ducati Team
Zarco’s move up to the Pramac team follows his surprise pole position and podium finish at the Czech Republic GP in 2020. Previously signed to the Red Bull KTM MotoGP team, the Frenchman’s Pramac deal represents his return to a factory contract. His 13th place finish and 77 championship points help Ducati secure the 2020 constructor’s crown and Ducati hopes he can contribute to its 2021 title defense.
On the other side of the paddock, Jorge Martin has KTM ties as well. Moving up from the Red Bull KTM Moto2 team, the former Moto3 champion is one of three rookies signed to Ducati in 2021. The Spanish rider joins Pramac after an unsuccessful Moto2 title challenge last season. Though he nabbed a win at the Valencia and Austrian Grand Prix, Martin missed two races due to contracting COVID-19.
Of course, Moto2 champion Enea Bastiani will also ride a Ducati in the upcoming MotoGP year so the rookie rivalry could heat up even more. Regardless of the results, Pramac will expect Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco to contribute to the satellite teams’ goals in 2021.
Sources: Motorsport, Autosport