Aleix Espargaro is preparing to become the youngest Spaniard to race in MotoGP, having received a surprise call up from the Pramac Ducati team.

Without even a grand prix ride at the start of year, 20-year-old Espargaro - who claimed a career best fourth during a stand-in 250GP appearance at Assen earlier this year - has been selected by the satellite Ducati team to replace Mika Kallio at the next two rounds, starting this weekend in Indianapolis.

Kallio is in turn replacing the absent Casey Stoner at the factory Ducati Marlboro squad.

"I have trained a lot during this period, waiting for a call, but I would have never thought about racing in the top class: it will be a true honour to ride for such a prestigious company as Ducati. I have to thank Pramac Racing for believing in my qualities," said Espargaro, a full time 125/250GP rider from 2005-2008.

"This season, after the unlucky events at the beginning of the season, I made it to race in the 250cc class on two occasions, Assen and Sachsenring, conquering respectively fourth and the seventh position.

"Of course I cannot expect similar results in MotoGP, but I will do my best to payback the trust that the team has given me," he added.

Espargaro has been chosen by Pramac Racing team principal Paolo Campinoti.

"We are very happy to have Aleix with us, he has done well in his short career and this year he hasn't be so lucky - remaining without a team when everybody was already set up," he said.

"He will become the youngest Spanish rider in the MotoGP class and thus underline that our project can give young riders to chance to show their qualities in the top class of motorcycle road racing," Campinoti declared.

Ducati's WSBK star Michel Fabrizio stood in for Kallio at Brno, but withdrew early in the race with shoulder pain after qualifying 16th out of the 17 riders.

Meanwhile, regular Pramac rider Niccolo Canepa has high hopes for his Indianapolis race debut, having impressed during testing at the circuit last season (pictured).

The Italian rode for two days in his former role as Ducati's test rider, during a special tyre test arranged prior to the inaugural 2008 event. No full time riders were allowed to take part, but Canepa beat the likes of Ben Spies (Suzuki) and Olivier Jacque (Kawasaki) to be fastest on both days.

"It is for me a true pleasure to come back on this track where last year I spent two days of testing," said the Italian, a best of eighth so far in his rookie season. "It is a really nice circuit, fast and technical, where there are some points where you can overtake.

"Last year I was faster than much more experienced riders and I hope to be competitive again this weekend. During the Brno test we found some really interesting solutions and they should give us some help for this race so important for my season and my future," he added.

Campinoti made clear he expects Canepa to perform well this weekend.

"Niccol? will have to do a good race: he has already ridden on this circuit and we believe he will be able to conquer a good result," he said.