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Italy’s Pecco Bagnaia, will this week reveal he is to join Ducati in Formula One. The 21-year-old has formed an alliance with the Italian bike manufacturer that runs alongside Danilo Petrucci and Pitobuglia Milenkovic, who all work for the senior manufacturer.
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Bagnaia, who was on the podium at the 2011 Italian GP, will replace Massi Fioroni at Ducati’s factory after the Italian’s contract was cancelled. The 2014 race winner will be the fourth Italian rider in F1 after Valentino Rossi, who will race for Yamaha next season, Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa, who is being replaced by Yamaha’s British rider Cal Crutchlow.
Bagnaia is currently racing for Yamaha’s F3 team, but has agreed a three-year deal with Ducati’s F1 team, leading to speculation of a future in Formula One alongside Lorenzo and his compatriot and ex-F1 driver Rubens Barrichello.
The young Italian is being tipped to become the next Marquez – and this season’s rookie of the year – and will be given the chance to continue his fledgling career over at Ducati, with 2012 champion Marquez sitting out the 2018 F1 season after signing to spend more time with the factory Ducati team.