Niccolo Canepa stakes Ducati MotoGP claim

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Test rider Niccolo Canepa did his chances of clinching a full-time MotoGP ride in 2009 no harm with an impressive testing performance in Brno.

Ducati was using the two-day session to make a final assessment on the 20-year-old’s premier class credentials, with Canepa under serious consideration for a place in the satellite Alice team.

Canepa was only 1.7s off the incredible pace set by reigning world champion Casey Stoner at the conclusion of the Brno test, and will now be told at the end of the month whether he has a ride, with Ducati hoping to confirm its 2009 line-up in Misano.

Sources close to Canepa told MCN in Brno a MotoGP is ‘90 per cent’ done, with Finn Mika Kallio and current world 250 championship Marco Simoncelli also in the frame.
Simoncelli though is expected to remain in the 250GP class for one more season before moving to MotoGP in 2010.

Should Canepa not secure a Ducati deal, he is also understood to be mulling over an offer to join Ruben Xaus in the new BMW World Superbike team.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt