Former Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider Niccolo Canepa will remain in the grand prix paddock next season after signing to ride in the new Moto2 World Championship.
The Italian, who missed the closing rounds of his rookie 2009 MotoGP season due to injury, will ride for the Scot Racing Team in the new 600cc class, which replaces 250GP.
"I'm absolutely delighted with the agreement we signed,” said Canepa. “And I'm am really happy about the possibility to play a creative role in a working group that has been able to show high potential and capable of great results - this season and in the past. A new class, a new bike: it will be a tough job, but with rewarding perspectives. The target is to do well.”
Scot Racing won the final 250cc World Championship with Hiroshi Aoyama this season and will race its own Moto2 design next year.
"We are delighted to have Niccolò with us,” declared team owner Cirano Mularoni. “We asked him to join Scot Racing Team because he's fast, competitive and, although still very young, already a very experienced rider.He competed in MotoGP this year, and in the same class he was test rider the previous season.
"In our opinion, he's the right man for a brand new class and a team like ours - we designed our own bike and we are going to develop it day by day, race by race. We are convinced to be able to do a great job together,” he added.
Canepa's impressive performances as a test rider in 2008 had secured him the satellite Ducati MotoGP seat for 2009, but having no previous 125 or 250 grand prix experience meant he faced a tough challenge.
The 21-year-old mechanical engineering student, who clinched the FIM Superstock championship in 2007, did a solid, if unspectacular, job.
Canepa matched team-mate Mika Kallio's best finish of eighth on the satellite bike (the Finn claimed seventh with the factory Ducati team) and finished all but the Indianapolis round, when he suffered a technical problem.