Michele Pirro says his World Superbike return has been a long-term plan in the making as he gears up with Barni Ducati for Misano.

The Ducati MotoGP test rider will make a one-off World Superbike comeback this weekend at Misano after securing a deal with Barni Ducati who are set to run two Panigale V4 Rs at the Italian track with Pirro racing alongside regular rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi.

Pirro’s last WorldSBK outing was almost four years ago at Jerez when he stood in as injury replacement at the factory Ducati squad, claiming a pair of top seven finishes, and while outright targets remain conservative the Italian Superbike champion has a wealth of experience on the V4 R having acted as test rider during its development phase.

“I can’t wait to be out on track for this race weekend,” Pirro said. “Together with Barni Racing Team and Marco Barnabò it has been a long time that we were working on this project, we managed to make it real and I feel ready.

“Now it’s time to race and, as always, I will give the maximum riding the bike.

“I will try to enjoy myself and to make fans entertained because they were expected to be a lot. I want to give to the team the best possible result.”

Pirro shone in his last world championship race, an Italian MotoGP wildcard at Mugello, where he claimed seventh place to notch up his best dry weather race result in almost two years in Grand Prix racing.

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