Ducati MotoGP Team Extends Pecco Bagnaia Contract By Two Years

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This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but the factory Ducati MotoGP team has extended 2021 MotoGP championship runner-up Pecco Bagnaia’s contract by two years. The 25-year old Italian, a strong contender for the title in 2022, will continue to race the ‘Bolognia Bullet’ until at least the end of 2024.

As The-Race.com reports, a new deal was almost set in stone following his excellent performance in the previous season and following comments from team boss Davide Tardozzi last week after pre-season testing at Indonesia’s new Mandalika Bay circuit.

“Pecco is a rider that we would like to keep in the family,” said Tardozzi.

“We are still discussing a few matters, but we want him, he wants to stay, and finally, it’s possible that we can find a solution.”

Pecco Bagnaia during pre-season testing

The extended contract indicates that Ducati is confident in the Italian and his long-term future in their paddock. Over the recent past, Ducati has offered even its factory riders only one-year deals, so a two-year contract is clearly a sign of their faith in Bagnaia. 

Bagnaia commented on the announcement by saying, “Being a Ducati rider in MotoGP has always been my dream, and knowing that I can continue with the Ducati Lenovo Team for another two seasons makes me happy and proud. 

I have found a serene environment in the factory team: I feel very much in tune with my team and know that we can do great things together. Now I can only concentrate on doing well in this Championship. A big thank you to Claudio, Gigi, Paolo, Davide, and all the Ducati Corse staff. I’ll try to repay their trust with my results on the track!”

Pecco Bagnaia during pre-season testing

Luigi Dall’Igna, General Manager of Ducati Corse, also released a statement: “We are delighted to have Bagnaia with us for another two seasons. Since he arrived at Ducati in 2019, Pecco has shown great talent and the ability to interpret our Desmosedici GP very well, adapting to ride it in any condition. 

“He did it, especially in the last season, during which he had significant growth and got to play for the World Title. The way he managed the races at Aragón, Misano, Portimão, and Valencia, scoring four fantastic victories, is proof of his maturity as a rider. With these great qualities, we are sure that he has the potential to aim for the title with us”.

Pecco Bagnaia during pre-season testing

Ducati won its last title 15 years ago with Casey Stoner on board. Big names like Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo signed with the team in the following years, but none achieved major success aboard the Desmosedici. Bagnaia will also be looking to achieve what Andrea Dovizioso came so close to in multiple seasons.

The Italian marquee also has the challenging task of deciding who will ride alongside Bagnaia next year. Jack Miller currently holds that spot, but it may not be his to keep with satellite team riders like Jorge Martin doing increasingly well.

Jack Miller during pre-season testing

We’re just over a week away from the first race weekend of the 2022 season, and we’re sure that it’s going to be a good one. On that note, we’re also really excited about the new MotoGP: Unlimited docu-series that will be premiering on March 14th. 

Who are you rooting for in the 2022 MotoGP World Championship? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Ducati, The-Race.com