MotoGP »

Espargaro ready for MotoGP debut.

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).

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ducati test rider Niccolo Canepa negotiates Turn 1 of the IMS road course at the Indianapolis MotoGP test (pic: Indianapolis Motor Speedway).
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, Kallio, Zarco German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, Kallio, Zarco German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, Iannone German MotoGP race 2017
Dovizioso, Lorenzo, Aleix Espargaro German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP race 2017
Aleix Espargaro, German MotoGP 2017
Aleix Espargaro, German MotoGP 2017
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP 2017
Aleix Espargaro, Crutchlow German MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Rossi, Dovizioso German MotoGP 2017
Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP race 2017
Bautista, Aleix Espargaro German MotoGP race 2017
Pol Espargaro, German MotoGP race 2017
Rossi, Dovizioso, Aleix Espargaro German MotoGP race 2017
Iannone, Pol Espargaro German MotoGP race 2017

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Huh?? - Unregistered

August 25, 2009 1:53 PM

I guess I'm confused I thought Hayden got the best ride in motogp after winning the american domestic series and I believe Hopkins got a ride after winning the ama fx series. :? This year a past ama rider Ben Spies got the #1 seat at yamaha italia while bsb champ Shakey got a satelite ride. :-o I bet Spies is getting paid 5 times the amount Shakey is getting. And didn't Chaz ride for ducati in 2007 at laguna seca while competing in the ama???? Name another domestic series where the riders can go straight into motogp - that should answer the question of what matters.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.