Tito Rabat Signs For Two More Years With Avintia - 2020 MotoGP Line Up Almost Complete

The rider line up for the 2020 MotoGP season is nearly complete. Today, the Avintia Ducati team announced they would be signing Tito Rabat to a new two-year deal, for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, with a promise of obtaining factory-spec equipment.

The announcement is a result of the Pons Moto2 squad announcing that they would be signing Lorenzo Baldassarri and Augusto Fernandez for the 2020 season in Moto2. Baldassarri had been strongly linked to the Avintia ride, while Rabat was said to be in talks to head to the WorldSBK championship, to ride a Kawasaki alongside Jonathan Rea. When Baldassarri decided to stay in Moto2, Rabat became Avintia's best option.

The deal has two interesting details. The first is that Avintia are trying to obtain factory-spec machinery and commensurate support for 2020. That would imply that Ducati would field five GP20s (or six, if Karel Abraham were also get one) for next year. For Ducati to support that many factory bikes is a question of money, which would mean Avintia stepping up their investment, and raising more money from sponsorship. 

The second is that Rabat has chosen to sign for two years instead of one. That puts him out of step with the whole of the rest of the grid. Everyone else with a contract will be free for the 2021 season, and in a position to negotiate for a new deal with every other team on the grid, potentially at least. Rabat has no such freedom.

On the other hand, Rabat being signed for 2021 also means he won't have to fear losing his ride to one of the influx of youngsters from Moto2 expected at the end of next season.

With Rabat signed, only one signature is missing to complete the field. Jack Miller is still in talks with Pramac Ducati about 2020, though they are currently only talking numbers. The rest of the details - including having a Ducati GP20 - have been settled. A deal should be announced soon.

Here is the nearly complete rider line up for the 2020 MotoGP season:

Rider Bike Contract until
Monster Energy Yamaha
Valentino Rossi Yamaha M1 2020
Maverick Viñales Yamaha M1 2020
Repsol Honda
Jorge Lorenzo Honda RC213V 2020
Marc Márquez Honda RC213V 2020
Ecstar Suzuki
Alex Rins Suzuki GSX-RR 2020
Joan Mir Suzuki GSX-RR 2020
Gresini Aprilia
Aleix Espargaro Aprilia RS-GP 2020
Andrea Iannone Aprilia RS-GP 2020
KTM Factory
Johann Zarco KTM RC16 2020
Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 2020
Factory Ducati
Andrea Dovizioso Ducati GP20 2020
Danilo Petrucci Ducati GP20 2020
Satellite Teams
Pramac Ducati
Pecco Bagnaia Ducati GP20 2020
Jack Miller Ducati GP20 2019
LCR Honda
Cal Crutchlow Honda RC213V 2020
Taka Nakagami Honda RC213V 2019
Tech3 KTM
Miguel Oliveira KTM RC16 2020
Brad Binder KTM RC16 2020
Petronas SIC Team
Franco Morbidelli Yamaha M1 2020
Fabio Quartararo Yamaha M1 2020
Avintia Ducati
Tito Rabat Ducati GP19? 2021
Karel Abraham Ducati GP19? 2020

The Avintia press release announcing the new deal appears below:

Tito Rabat and Reale Avintia Racing together for two more seasons

Reale Avintia Racing team is pleased to announce a new agreement reached with Tito Rabat for the 2020 and 2021 MotoGP seasons. The former Moto2 World Champion will continue for two more years with the team owned by Raúl Romero, who now aims at getting state-of-the-art bikes with the latest factory specifications, as well as a factory technical crew. Furthermore, and thanks to the excellent relationship between Esponsorama and Rabat family, the team is in negotiations with a major sponsor to complete an ambitious project which will allow Reale Avintia Racing to fight for strong results in the upcoming seasons.

Following his serious accident during the British Grand Prix last season, Tito Rabat struggled in a difficult first part of the championship, but in the last two races, the Spanish rider began to recover the feeling with his bike, he was ninth in Catalunya and he was close to the ‘top 10’ last time out in Germany.

Today’s announcement puts an end to the latest rumours that had Rabat looking for a ride in WSBK. It also confirms that Raúl Romero’s team will continue in the MotoGP World Championship stronger than ever.

Tito Rabat

“I’m very happy that I signed for two more years with my team. The best news is that we are going to have factory bikes from 2020, which is crucial to our goal of fighting for top positions in every race. The MotoGP class is more competitive than ever and you need to have the best machinery to get good results. I want to thank Raúl for his confidence in me. We had a difficult start into this year, but we got stronger in the last few races. Knowing that I will continue for two more seasons is a boost to my confidence and I’m sure I‘ll be back stronger in the second half of the championship.”

Raúl Romero (CEO Esponsorama)

“It is a pleasure to announce that Tito will continue with us for the next two seasons. There has been a lot of talk about Tito’s future and the future of the team, but with this announcement we made it clear that we are moving forward together and that we will be stronger than ever before. The team grew steadily since we arrived in MotoGP and the next step is to get factory machines, the same way as all the other independent teams in the championship. We are working on this right now and we are also in negotiations with a big sponsor that perfectly matches the size of the project we are planning for the upcoming seasons.”


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The 2020 line up is clearly explained above, in the text and the chart?

Because the chart says he & Jack are only signed through the end of this season while the text says that Miller is the "only" one left w/o a 2020 contract.

My suspicion is that Taka might have an extention clause that those in the know realize that he's met but are simply awaiting the formal announcement from Honda?

edit: and if I had read the Brno preview first, I would've seen that the answer is revealed there... doh!

2020 Avintia and these two riders, doesn't have my interest. Makes little difference what spec bike they lease back there.
2021 does have my interest...that Suzuki have a Jr Team. Looking forward to a potential additional Yamaha garage with VR46. And this last vestige of CRT's and customers I will cheer their sunset. Bummed to hear they plan to be around in 2021 if it is in lieu of these other bikes.

Suspect their longterm plan is to sell the grid spots on. Abraham is definitely paytoride. Rabat probably bringing a big chunk of change too. Running around at the back on obsolete gear with lesser riders is never going to make the team look great. 

Only thing left is they're hanging on with Dornas assistance too, waiting to be bought 

I didn't see the word 'Ducati' mentioned anywhere in the press release. Any chance Avintia's factory bikes for next year might be Suzukis/Aprilias/something else?

here forget that Hector Barbera finished 10th in championship in 2016 aboard an Avintia Ducati. 

The competition is so high and yes, Avintia is at the rear of the field which makes sense. Someone has to finish last. But under the right circumstances, they have the talent and the machines to make a good result. 

Indeed.  Lets remember Tito is a Moto2 world champ, and when he moved to Motogp it was on the miserable customer Honda and subsequently bottom shelf Ducati equipment.  He also suffered an injury less than 12 months ago that could well have killed him, would have crippled any normal person and probably ended the riding career of anyone sensible.  He hasn't set the world on fire in Motogp but has shown some speed at times.  He's presently 5 points behind Jorge Lorenzo...  :D

That's nice. I am glad. I believe he would perform better in a factory spec bike. And also Avintia was the only MotoGP team in Mugello paddock this year, which did not have any fence around. So I easily catched up with T.Rabat, making a photo :)