December 9, 2019 / 10:50 PM / a month ago

Zarco joins Avintia Ducati to complete the MotoGP grid

FILE PHOTO: MotoGP - Czech Republic Grand Prix - Automotodrom Brno, Brno, Czech Republic - August 3, 2019 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Johann Zarco in action during qualifying REUTERS/David W Cerny/File Photo

(Reuters) - French rider Johann Zarco joined the Reale Avintia Ducati team on Monday to complete the MotoGP starting grid for 2020.

The 29-year-old replaces Czech rider Karel Abraham, who announced in November that he would be leaving, alongside Spaniard Tito Rabat.

“I am very pleased to officially announce my signature with Ducati for 2020 season,” Zarco said on Instagram. “My left ankle is recovering well, I can enjoy now my winter time having rest with family and training again very soon.”

Zarco, a double Moto2 champion and MotoGP rookie of the year in 2017, ended the 2019 season as a stand-in for LCR Honda’s Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami, who was recovering from shoulder surgery.

The Frenchman had parted company with KTM in September and injured his ankle in the Valencia season-ender.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin Editing by Ian Chadband

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