Filling one of the final seats for next season is former 125cc and 250cc GP ace Aleix Espargaro, who will join Mika Kallio on the Pramac Ducati squad in 2010. After filling in for Kallio when the Finn subbed for a sick Casey Stoner on the factory Ducati team mid-season, Espargaro had some impressive results considering he had never so much as tested a MotoGP bike in his life. The Spaniard finished 13th at Indianapolis in his first outing, then followed that up with an impressive 11th at Misano, beating the likes of Randy de Puniet and current Pramac rider Niccolo Canepa. And no doubt landing him a ride in the process.
“After Mika Kallio renewed his contract with Pramac Racing Team for next season, the Italian Team lineup is completed today with the signing of Aleix Espargaro,” said Pramac in a press release. “The Spanish rider, after the two good performances obtain in the Indianapolis and Misano Grand Prix, has deserved the possibility to compete in the top class on the Ducati Desmosedici for the 2010 season.”
Many though fellow 250cc GP ace Mattia Pasini would get the spot after testing for the team at Brno, Czech Republic as well as testing with the factory boys at Mugello, Italy, but Spaniard Espargaro has officially got the nod for next season.
“Life can change so quickly in just a few months!” exclaimed Espargaro in a Pramac press release. “At the beginning of this year I had to stay home as my 250cc Team retired from the championship and now I have the opportunity to ride with the fastest riders in the world in MotoGP category. I also had some really interesting offers from Moto2, but as soon as Paolo Campinoti made me the offer to race for his Team I took less than a second to accept. I found myself really well in the races ridden for them this season: I was enthusiastic of their professionalism. They work really close with Ducati and they have immediate technical feedback when needed. The bike has impressed me so much for its power and its manageability. I have to thanks Pramac Racing Team, Paolo Campinoti and Ducati for this fantastic opportunity they are giving me.”
Season – Starts – Category – Final Position
2009 – 2 – MotoGP – 13th and 11th
2009 – 2 – 250cc – 4th and 7th
2008 – 16 – 250cc – 12
2007 – 17 – 250cc – 15
2006 – 9 – 250cc – 19
2006 – 6 – 125cc
2005 – 16 – 125cc – 16
2004 – 1 year racing