Luca Scassa will fill in at VFT Racing for the next two rounds of the World Superbike championship, with previous replacement rider Matteo Baiocco switching his focus to his campaign in the Italian championship.
Baiocco has stepped in for the injured Fabio Menghi this year after he suffered a fractured pelvis in a heavy fall during the final pre-season test at Phillip Island. Baiocco, who has claimed four points finishes this year, is unable to act as cover for the next two rounds at Sepang and Donington Park due to his commitments in the Italian Superbike championship.
Therefore, VFT Racing has selected experienced Italian Scassa to fill in for the injured Menghi for the next two rounds as he targets a comeback next month at Misano.
Scassa, who filled in for Davide Giugliano at the factory Ducati squad last year while he was out injured, has decent experience in the World Superbike championship and is also a former World Supersport race winner.
The new replacement rider says he's thrilled to be handed another opportunity to return to competition on Ducati machinery and hopes he can use it to kick-start his racing career.
"The team is supported by Ducati technicians, so I'm very confident and I hope to bring as much help as I can to the team in order to do well in the championship over the next two rounds,” Scassa said. “I thank the Menghi family, the VFT Racing team and the sponsors that will help me for the next races. I hope this is the start of a new chapter for me.
“Replacing an injured Superbike rider has never been my first goal and never will be, especially since I had the same incident on the same track (Phillip Island in Australia, where Menghi crashed in February); less serious, but I skipped some races too because of a broken pelvis and femur, so I know exactly how he feels.
“The first wish surely goes to Fabio, to get back quickly and ride his bike, since all this structure that moves around the world has been designed for him.”
Team owner Valerio Menghi says Scassa is an ideal replacement for Baiocco thanks to his experience with the Ducati Panigale R and feels he will be able to produce strong results with only limited running time at Sepang and Donington Park.
"We wanted to keep an Italian profile for the team and this is why we have chosen Luca Scassa,” Menghi said. “Firstly, a very strong 'thank you' to Matteo Baiocco for his involvement and the help he gave us, also for helping the team to grow.
“We think both Luca and Matteo give a great deal to motorcycling as they are two of the strongest riders in Italy. The choice of Luca was not made only for his skills, but also because he knows a lot about the bike and is immediately able to do two rounds."
Menghi is aiming for a comeback from injury at the eighth round of the 2016 World Superbike championship at Misano on the 17-19 June.