Yamaha test rider Niccolo Canepa has been handed a wildcard entry into the UK round of the World Superbike championship at Donington Park to bolster the Pata Yamaha ranks alongside regular riders Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes.

The reigning Endurance World champion and former MotoGP rider will return to the World Superbike championship for the first time since 2016, when he acted as stand-in for the injured Sylvain Guintoli, with a wildcard ride for Pata Yamaha at the British round.

Canepa, who also tests for the Pata Yamaha squad alongside van der Mark and Lowes, is relishing his return to the series and while his primary focus is developing the YZF-R1 he is eager to produce impressive results.

“I'm really happy to race again in WorldSBK with Pata Yamaha,” Canepa said. “I'm the test rider of the team, and I'm really proud that have given me the opportunity to race.

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“The target for the weekend will be to help the team with the development of the bike for the next races but I think that we can fight for a good result.

“Donington is a circuit that I really like and the atmosphere in England is always amazing! So I start the weekend with a great mood.”

Canepa has also been granted a wildcard for the French round at Magny-Cours in September with the factory Yamaha team.