Ducati comes into 2021 with an all-new rider line-up at its factory squad, with Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia stepping up from Pramac.
The Italian manufacturer’s 2021 machines feature a slightly altered, more predominantly red livery compared to what it ran last season, while also confirming long-time sponsor Lenovo as its title partner.
Ducati will be looking to defend its constructors’ crown from 2020 and end a 13-season wait for another riders’ world title.
“There are times in life when you need a change, and I think now is the time to do that,” Ducati general manager Gigi Dall’Igna said of his new line-up.
“We’re betting on two young riders who have a lot of experience with Ducati and so in a certain sense there is continuity and I really believe in their talent.”
Sporting director Paolo Ciabatti added: “Jack and Pecco were riders for the Pramac team and both have been brought into the official team.
“So I believe that deciding to freshen up the team by adding new resources was the right choice for the future.”
Ducati will once again field six bikes on the grid in 2021, with the two factory team riders running alongside the works-supported Johann Zarco and rookie Jorge Martin at Pramac, and the all-rookie Avintia line-up of Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini on GP19s.
Avintia launched its season in Andorra last week, while Pramac is yet to announce its launch plans for 2021.
Ducati scored two victories in 2020 courtesy of Andrea Dovizioso in Austria and Danilo Petrucci in France, while Zarco, Bagnaia and Miller added six further podiums to the marque’s total haul of nine.
“The emotions I felt seeing my all-red Desmosedici and wearing my new suit for the first time were incredible!” Miller said.
“I still have to realise that I’ll be part of the official Ducati Team this year. It’s taken a long way to get this far, and finally being “in red” gives me a great sense of satisfaction, but also the right motivation to continue working with commitment and dedication towards my future goals.”
“This will be a significant season for me because for the first time I’ll be wearing the colours of an official team,” Bagnaia added. “I’m proud to have achieved this first goal, and this year I will set my sight on even greater results.
“It has always been my dream to become part of the official Ducati team. I will try my best not to disappoint any expectations. I’m sure I have all that I need to be competitive right from the start and aim high.”
Due to COVID-19 cost-saving measures, Ducati’s 2021 bike – as is the case with Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda – will be largely carried over from 2020, with engine development frozen.
Once the season starts, one aerodynamic development will be permitted for each non-concession manufacturer, while normal update rules regarding chassis and suspension will be allowed.