Jorge Lorenzo's appointment to the factory Yamaha team for next season's MotoGP championship has left a gap at Fortuna Aprilia in the 250cc class that will be filled by fellow countryman Alex Debon.

A former regular in the 'junior' classes, Debon has been carrying out the role of test rider for Aprilia in the past two years, focusing on the development of the RSA250, but will return to a race ride in 2008, having been promoted to lead Dani Amatria?n's team. Now 31, he brings a lot of experience to the role, and admits that he could not afford to turn the offer down, especially having had his appetite whetted by a wild card outing in Barcelona earlier this year.

"It was an offer I could not refuse," he acknowledged, "It is the best opportunity of my career and I am very excited about replacing my friend, Jorge Lorenzo. I am ready to give everything to bring home the results to repay the team's faith in me."