Pramac Ducati's Niccolo Canepa and Aleix Espargaro, the youngest team line-up in the MotoGP class, both face a big weekend in Misano.

21-year-old Canepa knows that he needs a stand-out result to help secure his place on next year's grid, while 20-year-old Espargaro will be taking part in what looks like being his second and final MotoGP event of the season.

Canepa has claimed a best finish of eighth so far in his rookie season and sits 16th in the championship - the last of the full-time riders, but only once place and ten points behind team-mate Mika Kallio.

Kallio missed the Laguna Seca round due to injury, but has been promoted to the factory Ducati team for three rounds.

"It will nice to race close to home again," said Canepa of Misano. "I already know the circuit, even if when I rode here in Superstock 1000 things didn't go too well. I really hope that after the Indianapolis race things will go in the right direction for me."

Canepa suffered his first DNF of the year last time out at Indy, when his Desmosedici 'switched itself off' in the closing stages.

"I have been really unlucky this year and I need a bit of luck to be able to show my true value," he stated. "The bike has improved a lot since the beginning of the season and I hope to be able to obtain a good result really soon."

Espargaro was drafted into the team for Indy as a replacement for Kallio, who is due to return next time out at Estoril.

Aleix impressed by beating at least one rider in all track sessions then, despite a clash with fellow Spaniard Toni Elias at turn two, scored points on his MotoGP debut with 13th out of 14 finishes in the race.

Espargaro has raced at Misano twice before as a 250cc rider. In 2007 he was twelfth, while the year after he failed to finish after qualifying on the front row in third.

"I am sure that things here in Misano will go only better for me," said Espargaro, who was without a grand prix ride in any class at the start of the season. "This is a track I really like and where last year I conquered the front row with the third fastest lap time during qualifying.

"It will not be easy, I know this, but as usual I will give 100% to conquer the best result possible. With the Pramac Racing Team I felt good straight away and this allowed me to reach a good level since the first laps. For this reason I want to thanks the technical staff who have helped me a lot to adapt to this new adventure," he added.


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment