The 2019 MotoGP grid is now as good as complete. Today, the Reale Avintia squad announced they have signed a two-year contract with Karel Abraham which will see him racing a Ducati for the team for the next two seasons.
The announcement had been widely expected. Xavier Simeon has not lived up to expectations and failed to adapt to MotoGP, and Avintia were looking for a replacement. Abraham had been left without a team after the Aspar / Angel Nieto Team passed their grid slots to the Petronas Yamaha team, which had already signed riders for the coming season. Abraham needed a team, and Avintia needed a rider who could bring money, to replace the money lost when Simeon departed.
Though formally, there are two seats still officially without a contracted rider - the second Reale Avintia seat, and the second LCR Honda seat - those rides are already taken. Tito Rabat will stay on for another year at Avintia, once he returns from his serious injury picked up at Silverstone, and Taka Nakagami will extend his contract with LCR Honda. All that is needed is the official confirmation.
The 2019 MotoGP rider line up appears below.
|2019 and beyond|
|Valentino Rossi||Yamaha M1||2020|
|Maverick Viñales||Yamaha M1||2020|
|Marc Márquez||Honda RC213V||2020|
|Jorge Lorenzo||Honda RC213V||2020|
|Alex Rins||Suzuki GSX-RR||2020|
|Joan Mir||Suzuki GSX-RR||2020|
|Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia RS-GP||2020|
|Andrea Iannone||Aprilia RS-GP||2020|
|Johann Zarco||KTM RC16||2020|
|Pol Espargaro||KTM RC16||2020|
|Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati GP19||2020|
|Danilo Petrucci||Ducati GP19||2019|
|Pecco Bagnaia||Ducati GP19?||2020|
|Jack Miller||Ducati GP19||2019|
|Cal Crutchlow||Honda RC213V||2020|
|Takaaki Nakagami||Honda RC213V||2019?|
|Miguel Oliveira||KTM RC16||2019|
|Hafizh Syahrin||KTM RC16||2019|
|Petronas SIC Yamaha|
|Franco Morbidelli||Yamaha M1 (factory)||2019|
|Fabio Quartararo||Yamaha M1 (satellite)||2019|
|Karel Abraham||Ducati GP18||2020|
|Tito Rabat||Ducati GP18||2019?|
The Avintia press release appears below:
Reale Avintia Racing is pleased to announce a two-year agreement reached with Karel Abraham that will see the 28 year-old Czech rider will compete in MotoGP World Championship with Ducati in 2019 and 2020.
Karel Abraham’s debut in the World Championship was in 2005 in 125cc and after two seasons he moved up to 250cc. In 2010, the same year the Moto2 class started as the new intermediate category, Abraham did a strong season and he ended the year with a podium finish in Japan and wining the race in Valencia.
His debut in MotoGP was in 2011 with Ducati and he completed five seasons before moving to World Superbike. Abraham came back to MotoGP in 2017 and he showed his skills at the Grand Prix of Argentina with front row start and top 10 result in the race.
Karel is a very experienced rider and capable of scoring points in every race. Next season he will race with Reale Avintia Racing team riding a Ducati GP18 and he expects to step forward and get closer to the front.
“I’m very happy to continue in Motogp next year and would like to thanks for this opportunity to Reale Avintia Racing Team. We signed in Silverstone because it was very important for me to finalise every detail of the contract in order to get competitive machinery. This worked out also thanks to a big help of Luigi Dall’Igna and Paolo Ciabatti from Ducati factory. The important part is, that it will be Ducati GP18 with the newest specification, which has a good results from this season. Thanks to that I believe, that we will be able to make some really good results and I am already very excited about the next season.”
Raúl Romero | CEO Esponsorama
“I’m very happy to see Karel Abraham joining our team. He is a hard worker, has won in Moto2, and has a lot of experience in MotoGP and with Ducati. I think that with better material and with the work of the whole team, next year Karel will be able to show its true potential. And I’m also happy to announce that we will continue with Ducati for two more seasons.”