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MotoGP 2017: Avintia Ducati team keeps Barbera and Baz

The satellite Avintia Ducati team will field an unchanged line-up of Hector Barbera and Loris Baz in MotoGP in 2017

Barbera is currently the highest-placed Ducati rider in the championship in seventh place, and next year will be his fifth campaign with Avintia.

The Spaniard will step up from his current GP14.2 bike to a 2016-specification Ducati.

"I think that we have shown a big progression over the last few years," he said.

"In just three seasons, we managed to move from 20th place to seventh in the standings, and we achieved this with an old bike.

"The team and I grew together over this period of time, so I'm extremely happy to sign a new contract for next season, especially because we'll finally have a competitive bike, and we will be able to fight for something big."

Avintia made a move for Aprilia's Stefan Bradl to partner Barbera in 2017, but the German has instead opted to move to the World Superbike Championship with Honda.

That has been good news for Baz, who will get a second season with Avintia and third in MotoGP after switching from WSBK.

The French rider is 21st in the championship, having missed three races after breaking his right foot in a crash at Mugello.

"Because with the poor races we had so far, 90% of the teams would have decided to sent me back home," Baz admitted.

"But Avintia Racing showed that they trust me and gave me another chance.

"I also think that during the winter tests and the first few races I showed that I'm not so slow.

"Now we need to try to get back to that point and try to be as competitive as Hector."

While Barbera will get a 2016-model Ducati, Baz is set to be on a '15 Desmosedici.

Aspar Ducati will operate on the same basis, with current Aprilia rider Alvaro Bautista set to be the recipient of the 2016 bike, and either Eugene Laverty - entertaining a WSBK return - or Yonny Hernandez riding a '15 bike.

Pramac Ducati, as the factory-backed team, is set to run a pair of 2016 bikes for Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci.

2017 MOTOGP GRID SO FAR
Yamaha: Valentino Rossi, Maverick Vinales
Honda: Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa
Ducati: Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso
Suzuki: Andrea Iannone, Alex Rins
KTM: Bradley Smith, Pol Espargaro
Aprilia: Sam Lowes, Aleix Espargaro
Tech3 Yamaha: Jonas Folger, Johann Zarco
LCR Honda: Cal Crutchlow
Marc VDS Honda: Jack Miller, Tito Rabat*
Pramac Ducati: Scott Redding*, Danilo Petrucci*
Avintia Ducati: Hector Barbera, Loris Baz
Aspar Ducati: Alvaro Bautista, TBC

*To be announced

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