Jorge Lorenzo was not the only rider who ended his career after Valencia, even if it seemed that the Spaniard would have been the only one who retired at the end of 2019 season. Never say never in MotoGP and surprises are always about to come, especially considering that during this final of the season we had Johann Zarco who came back on track.
The French was really close to sign with Yamaha before coming back on track to become a Test Rider, but then Honda came and proposed him to replace Takaaki Nakagami for the last races of the season as long as the Japanese had to go under surgery. At that point, everyone thought that Johann could have a chance to join Honda at the end of the year, especially if the rumor about Jorge Lorenzo’s retirement would have been real.
Things were not as planned, because Honda then decided to sign Alex Marquez to be next Marc Marquez’s teammate and so Zarco had only two choices: coming back to Moto2 with Marc VDS or going to Reale Avintia with Ducati. Initially the French was not too sure about joining Reale Avintia considering the team as not good enough to compete, but at the end was convinced by Paolo Ciabatti and that meant one between Karel Abraham and Tito Rabat was about to leave.
Both had a contract with the Team for 2020, but it was pretty much clear that it would have been Karel Abraham to leave the team, and the Team actually did it sending an email to the Czech. Surely not the best way to fire a rider and Abraham was not happy and had something to say about his situation and his plan for the future.
This is what he said: “I received an email from the Avintia’s lawyer in Spanish, it was quite annoying as long as communications usually were in English. We translated it and next year I will not be a MotoGP rider. I do not understand sincerely, I have a contract and we are sure that we did not do anything wrong about it. It is clear that I will not continue, no one wants to race for a Team that does not want you. I like the crew and I love racing in MotoGP, but I will not search anymore, this is the end of my career. I knew I could not believe to MotoGP guys and this is the prove. For me, Avintia’s Manager is dead (Ruben Xaus); it is a completely joke, they could have solved this situation with a compromise or at least face to face”