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Rossi protege Bagnaia gets 2019 MotoGP seat with Pramac Ducati team

Italian rising star Francesco Bagnaia will graduate to MotoGP as a factory-contracted Ducati rider in 2019, joining satellite team Pramac

The 21-year-old, who is part of seven-time premier class champion Valentino Rossi's VR46 Riders Academy, emerged as a favoured option for a Pramac 2019 ride after a strong rookie season in Moto2.

It was revealed he was in advanced talks with the Italian outfit last month, and Bagnaia will now head into his second campaign in the intermediate class with a MotoGP berth - and a factory contract - already secured for the following year.

His contract with Ducati covers the 2019 and '20 MotoGP seasons.

Bagnaia spent four years in Moto3, emerging as a benchmark rider for Indian manufacturer Mahindra towards the end of his tenure as he scored two wins en route to fourth overall in 2016.

He was placed in Rossi's VR46 team for his Moto2 graduation and ended 2017 as the series' top rookie in fifth place.

Pramac will field a Ducati Desmosedici GP18 for Danilo Petrucci and a GP17 for newcomer Jack Miller in the upcoming MotoGP season.

Neither has a contract beyond 2018 but, while Miller is widely expected to stay on, Petrucci has already confirmed he and Pramac will split after four seasons together.

While most MotoGP seats are yet to be firmed up beyond the current season, Bagnaia joins a growing list of riders who have their post-2018 futures secured.

Rookies Franco Morbidelli and Xavier Simeon have multi-year deals with their respective teams - Marc VDS Honda and Avintia Ducati - as does the Honda-contracted Cal Crutchlow at LCR, while Maverick Vinales' new Yamaha agreement runs to 2020.

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