Czech Republic youngster Karel Abraham will make a shock switch to MotoGP next season, expanding Ducati’s premier class line-up to six bikes in 2011.
The shocking news broke late last week, with the 20-year-old’s ride funded by his father, also named Karel, who owns the Brno Circuit in the Czech Republic.
Despite 87 grand prix starts in the 125cc and 250cc/Moto2 categories, Abraham is yet to claim a podium finish at a world championship level, but an impressive test on a factory-spec Desmosedici at Mugello last month sealed the move for the new year.
It’s uncertain whether Abraham will form an entirely new team or join the existing Aspar Ducati team that currently fields a one rider effort with Spaniard Hector Barbera.
The boost in Ducati’s GP involvement will see the Italian manufacturer match Honda for 2011 with six bikes, while four from Yamaha and two from Suzuki complete the 18-rider grid that’s set for the new year.