Franco Morbidelli signs with Pramac Ducati for 2024

Franco Morbidelli signs with Pramac Ducati for 2024

MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli’s turbulent tenure at Factory Yamaha is about to come to an end as Pramac Ducati has signed the Italian rider for the 2024 season.

Pramac Ducati has officially confirmed that it will replace Johann Zarco with current Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli for the 2024 MotoGP season, putting an end to weeks of uncertainty.

Morbidelli, an eventual graduate of Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Academy, will race alongside championship contender Jorge Martin at the Ducati satellite team. Both riders will be riding the most recent Ducati model, the GP24, next season.

Alex Rins is slated to replace Morbidelli at Factory Yamaha, and this will put an end to their collaboration after working with Japanese manufacturer Yamaha since 2021,

Morbidelli placed second in the MotoGP Championship the year before while winning three races on the Petronas Yamaha SRT bike.

The 2021 season’s midpoint saw the promotion of the 2017 Moto2 champion to the factory team to take Maverick Vinales’ spot. However, Morbidelli’s time on the factory M1 hasn’t exactly been smooth.

Morbidelli’s progress was delayed by a knee injury in 2021 that required surgery and time away from the track, and for whatever reason, the Italian rider has never truly clicked with the Yamaha ever since.

Additionally, Yamaha’s sharp decline in performance in comparison to competitors’ equipment, especially this year, has made things worse for Morbidelli and his teammate, 2021 champion Fabio Quartararo.

However, there have been some standout moments for Morbidelli while driving a factory Yamaha, such as an outstanding fourth-place showing in Argentina earlier this season.

That’s why, his impressive results coupled with the level of performance Morbidelli has demonstrated in the past, convinced them to take a bet on him.

The Italian will be able to ride the current version of the most competitive package in MotoGP, and Pramac and Ducati are thrilled to have signed his services.

“I am very happy that Franco is joining our family for 2024,” said Prima Pramac Racing Team Principal Paolo Campinoti in a statement on the team’s website. “I have an excellent relationship with him, and he has proven to be a champion on many occasions.

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“I am confident that in our team, he will find the right conditions to fight for the positions he deserves.”

Prima Pramac Racing Team Manager Gino Borsoi added: “It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with a champion like Franco.

“I have great confidence in him and his talent. I am sure he will feel very comfortable in our team, and together, we will achieve great results.”

With Morbidelli joining Pramac, another Grand Prix champion has joined the Ducati team, and the squad’s general manager Luigi Dall’Igna is “confident” he is going to prevail on a Desmosedici GP.

“It is a pleasure for us to welcome Franco Morbidelli to our factory-supported Pramac Racing team for the upcoming sports season,” the Ducati boss said. “Franco is a rider of great talent and experience, and on more than one occasion.

“He has demonstrated his strength and speed. It’s no coincidence that in 2020, he was the MotoGP vice-world champion, winning three Grand Prix races.

“We are confident that, together with the Prima Pramac Racing team and thanks to our support, he will be able to show his full potential.

“We look forward to embarking on this new exciting adventure together.”

As a result of the news, Gresini is the only Ducati team that has yet to decide on its rider lineup for 2024.

Alex Marquez has already committed to staying with the Gresini team for the upcoming season, but Fabio di Giannantonio is likely to leave the team, with HRC riders Marc Marquez and Joan Mir reportedly considering switching to a Ducati.

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