Michele Pirro has been lined up to make his World Superbike Championship debut during the penultimate round of the season at Magny-Cours, the Italian coming on board as the latest substitute for the injured Carlos Checa at Alstare Ducati.

The Ducati test rider has made numerous race appearances at MotoGP level this season as the regular stand-in for the sidelined Ben Spies on the satellite Pramac machine, while the Italian raised eyebrows with a strong turn on the Gresini CRT bike in 2012.

Though this will be his first outing aboard a Superbike, Pirro has experience of the French circuit having raced there during his time competing at Superstock and Supersport level en route to MotoGP.

"I made a few laps at Mugello last Thursday during our last test," he said. "It was my first time riding a Superbike and I'm pleased because I got on well, although it's difficult to evaluate because when you're on track alone it's all a lot easier. Anyway, I'm confident and convinced that we can take a good result.

"It will all be new for me, the bike, brakes, tyres but I believe that with determination and the help of such a professional team we'll be able to work well and I hope to find a good feeling. The important thing is to always give it everything.

"This is an important year for me, in which I've made my debut in MotoGP and now in Superbike too. I can't wait to get on track and thank Ducati and team Ducati Alstare for this opportunity."

Pirro's inclusion sees him assume the bike ridden by Niccolo Canepa during the American round at Laguna Seca, the Italian reverting back to the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup class as he bids to keep his slim title hopes alive against runaway leader Sylvain Barrier.



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