Morbidelli, a member of Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Academy, will ride one of the satellite squad’s Desmosedici GP24s next season, replacing Honda-bound Johann Zarco.

The Italian will partner Jorge Martin, who has a pre-existing contract to remain at Pramac.

Pramac team boss Paolo Campinoti commented: "I am very happy that Franco is joining our family for 2024. I have a very good relationship with him, who has proved to be a champion on many occasions.

"I am sure that in our team he will find the right conditions to come back and fight for the positions he deserves."

Morbidelli, the 2017 Moto2 champion, had been linked with a move to the Ducati camp for some time as it became increasingly clear he would not retain his Yamaha ride, which eventually went to Alex Rins.

Initially it was thought the 28-year-old could join the VR46 team owing to his long-standing links with Rossi, but Marco Bezzecchi’s reluctance to leave the squad meant that the opportunity came up for Morbidelli to join Pramac.

Bezzecchi was announced to be staying with VR46 late last month, with confirmation that Luca Marini would remain as his team-mate following soon after.

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Ducati general manager Gigi Dall’Igna said: "It is a pleasure for us to welcome Franco into our factory-supported Pramac Racing team for the coming season, riding an official Desmosedici GP. 

"Franco is a very talented and experienced rider, and on more than one occasion he has proven to be strong and fast: it's no coincidence that in 2020 he was runner-up in MotoGP, winning three GPs.

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"We are convinced that, together with the Pramac Racing team and thanks to our support, he will be able to show his full potential. We look forward to this exciting new adventure together."

Pramac’s announcement leaves only Gresini of the three satellite Ducati teams left to announce its rider line-up for 2024, with the team thought to be Marc Marquez’s main alternative in the event the Spaniard opts to leave Honda.

2023-09-18T14:19:41Z dg43tfdfdgfd