Gianluca Vizziello has been confirmed as the full-time replacement for Josh Hook in the World Superbike Championship at Grilini Kawasaki.
After several years off the world stage, the experienced Italian made a surprise return to World Superbikes with Grillini in the latter stages of the 2015 season, but wasn't included in their 2016 rider line-up.
However, with Hook dropped from the Grillini team ahead of Donington Park, the Italian outfit has confirmed Vizziello will return from Misano onwards.
“It's always a pleasure having someone like Vizziello in the team,” said eponymous team owner Andrea Grillini. “Apart from being a nice person, his determination and his will to race are like that of a child. We welcome him hoping also to have some Races in the rain, because he's considered a magician in tricky conditions.”
“I've not slept for three nights because I´m so happy!” added Vizziello. “Grillini called me asking about my availability and I said that if they were to ask, the answer would be obvious. I'm happy with the situation, as I've already raced with the same team and bike last year. The team is full of passionate people and there's a great atmosphere – that makes a difference to results. The Kawasaki is an easy bike – I was comfortable on it straight away last year. This new adventure starts at Misano, I track I know well and that's technical. I've done a lot of kilometers there and I'm happy to start there as an Italian. My goal is to score points – the top ten is difficult because the level is so high.”
Hook – who is testing in British Superbikes this week - was originally due to be replaced by Sheridan Morais but the South African failed to start in Donington Park as a result of injuries sustained in a MotoAmerica crash.