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Johann Zarco reveals Ducati deal, rides for Avintia in MotoGP 2020

Ousted KTM MotoGP rider Johann Zarco has revealed he has signed a deal with Ducati to race for the satellite Avintia squad in 2020

Zarco was linked to the Avintia team during the Valencia weekend after it became clear he would not be getting the works Honda seat vacated by the retired Jorge Lorenzo.

The double Moto2 champion initially rejected the link when asked by Autosport in Valencia, with Zarco stating he would rather return to the intermediate class as Avintia is "not a top team".

However, Zarco held talks with Ducati management on Monday after the Valencia race and Avintia announced later that day that it would become an official satellite partner to Ducati for 2020, a move thought to have paved the way for Zarco to come on board.

His signing took another step forward when Karel Abraham confirmed last week that he had lost his place within Avintia.

Speaking with French publication Moto Journal, Zarco revealed the Avintia deal is done and that Ducati general manager Luigi Dall'Igna convinced him to have faith in the move because it would have good support from the manufacturer.

"It's a fact that Luigi Dall'Igna told me that I could trust him in deciding to sign for Avintia next year," said Zarco, who will ride a 2019-spec Desmosedici next year.

"As I still doubted the skills of the Avintia team, I went to see my former head mechanic Massimo Branchini.

"Massimo told me to trust Luigi. It's Luigi Dall'Igna who will take care of finding me a good chief mechanic."

Zarco added he considers himself signed to Ducati, rather than Avintia, and his target is to step up to the works team in 2021.

"Besides, I do not consider that I signed with Avintia, but with Ducati," he added.

"My goal for 2020 is to not finish beyond 10th spot, see the top seven and integrate into the official team in 2021."

It is thought an official announcement on Zarco signing for Avintia will be made this week.

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