Ducati test rider Michele Pirro will contest this weekend’s MotoGP round at Mugello as a wild-card rider alongside team regulars Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.
Pirro, who is riding full time in the Italian Superbike championship this year, has served as Ducati’s test rider since 2013, following his only full season in the premier class aboard a Gresini-run FTR-Honda in 2012.
He spent much of 2013 deputising for an injured Ben Spies at the satellite Pramac squad, before making half a dozen wild-card appearances last season aboard a third works Desmosedici, his best result being 9th in the season finale at Valencia.
“I am very pleased to do my first wild-card race of the year at Mugello, and it’s also really exciting for me to race for the first time with the GP15,” said Pirro.
“In five races the new Desmosedici has already scored five podiums, proving to be very competitive and so it’s a big responsibility for me.
“But with the Ducati Test Team we have always done a good job on the bike’s development and so I am confident we can obtain a good result.”
Iannone discovers arm fracture
Iannone meanwhile will go into his home race having uncovered a fresh arm injury, a legacy of his testing crash at Mugello earlier in the month that dislocated his left shoulder.
“A couple of days ago I stopped taking pain-killers and yesterday I did an MRI scan,” said the Italian.
“Unfortunately they found a hairline fracture at the tip of my funny bone, and to be sincere that was a bit of a nasty surprise.
“The swelling still causes me a lot of pain and I am continuing to do laser therapy in an attempt to get it to go down as soon as possible.”