Aleix Espargaro has been sensationally handed a two-race MotoGP opportunity after being chosen by the Pramac Racing Team to fill in for Mika Kallio whilst the Finn in-turn deputises for Casey Stoner at Ducati.
Espargaro will compete for Pramac at both Indianapolis on August 30 and Misano a week later, and his signing rescues a campaign that for the Spanish youngster had appeared to be heading into the history books as one to forget.
Without a regular ride of any description in 2009, the 20-year-old – the youngest competitor ever to lift the laurels in the Spanish 125cc Championship when he did so five years ago – vaulted back into the spotlight with a brace of outings in the 250cc class at Assen and the Sachsenring for Hungarian outfit the Balatonring Team.
“I am very happy as this season has been very hard for me,” acknowledged the Granollers native. “We are beginning a project for next year to be back in the world championship, and this will be a good occasion to get back in touch with my world.
“This season I have ridden a couple of races in the 250cc category at Assen and the Sachsenring, concluding in fourth and seventh positions, therefore I feel physically ready. It's like a dream come true to find myself all of a sudden in MotoGP. I want to thank the Pramac Racing Team, who are giving me this opportunity to compete at the top level of motorcycle racing.”
Espargaro's surprise promotion came about after Michel Fabrizio – who replaced Kallio in the Czech Republic last weekend, qualifying on the fourth row of the grid, just under four tenths of a second shy of team-mate Niccolò Canepa, but failing to finish the race – was unable to continue to fill the void.
Kallio himself endured an eventful weekend in the 2007 MotoGP Champion's stead at Brno, crashing spectacularly in qualifying and then doing so again following a late-race coming-together with Hayate Racing Team rival Marco Melandri barely a handful of laps from home that removed both men from the action on the spot.
Stoner still currently lies third in the title chase behind Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, but is not expected to return to the fray until at least October due to a mystery illness the Australian has been battling for several months.