Zarco backtracks on Ducati-Avintia opinion to join them for 2020

French rider Johann Zarco appears to have made a dramatic u-turn on his opinion of Ducati-Avintia and is set to join the Spanish team for the 2020 MotoGP season, a source close to the talks told AFP.

He would replace the Czech rider Karel Abraham who was axed at the weekend, midway through a two-year deal.

If the deal goes through Zarco will team up with the Spaniard Tito Rabat.

During the last GP in Valencia earlier this month, Zarco dismissed any idea of making the move.

"Avintia is not a top team," he said. "It would be a mistake to go there, it would be better to go back to Moto2."

However, the 29-year-old now appears to have changed his mind, partly because other options have closed, notably a switch to Repsol Honda to take over the seat vacated by Jorge Lorenzo who has retired.

That opening now looks to have closed with Moto2 champion Alex Marquez set to join up with his brother and six-time world champion Marc Marquez.

Zarco, who joined MotoGP in 2017 after two successive Moto2 championship titles, struggled this year, leaving KTM in September.

Honda-LCR drafted him in as a temporary replacement for the injured Takaaki Nakagami but he finished the season with just 30 points down in 18th place in the championship.

jld/bsp/cw

VOLKSWAGEN

YAMAHA MOTOR

REPSOL