Johann Zarco thinks is prepared to sit on a factory Ducati bike in 2021 if the opportunity emerges, but believes he must get couple more podiums before being considered by the Ducati.
With Andrea Dovizioso leaving Ducati at the end of this season, Johann is one of the riders that can replace the Italian and share garage with Jack Miller.
The Frenchman has had a turbulent journey in the MotoGP category so far. After his former team, Tech 3 terminated its cooperation with Yamaha, Zarco signed a two-year contract for KTM, which was terminated halfway through, before finding a temporary seat at LCR as a Nakagami’s replacement for the last three years [in 2019].
After that, the double Moto2 world champion joined the Avintia Ducati to ride a year-old Desmosedici bike.
Zarco has since scored Avintia’s first pole position and podium finish when he placed third in the Czech GP. After that, he had a huge incident with Morbidelli during the Austrian GP, so he had to start from pitlane at Styrian GP as punishment for that collision.
The Frenchman will remain a Ducati rider in 2021, though it is not clear yet where he will be placed, with a move to Pramac or remaining at Avintia with added support the likely options.
“It’s pretty good news that I know I can continue with Ducati next year,” Zarco said for Motorsport.com
“But they still need time to decide where to put the riders, and clearly the factory bike is always a dream bike.
“And with what I learned already from my experience in a factory team and the mistakes I did also, because I did a few mistakes, I think I would be ready to go [back] on the factory bike.
“But first of all I need to do more podiums and fight more for – not for victory – but be really constant, fighting for the podiums to deserve the factory bike.
“The Ducati team are losing Dovizioso, and they can have it with Jack, but if they have two riders able to fight for podiums, this would be the main thing.
“Clearly the dream is the factory bike but staying with Ducati is the main thing, because a few months before we were just thinking with the Avintia team, it would have been a very complicated year and we see that with the support of Ducati I am doing well.
“It’s pretty good for the team and then me now I have the future a little bit more fixed, so I can only smile.”
Also in the “battle” for Ducati seat is Pramac’s Francesco Bagnaia, who has been offered a new two-year deal to remain in the the team. Jorge Lorenzo has also some chance of coming back to the MotoGP and ride for the team from Bologna.
Ducati is set to make a decision on its full 2021 line-up ahead of next weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix.
Tell us in the Comment section who would you like to see as a factory Ducati rider in 2021.