Aleix Espargaro gets shock Ducati MotoGP chance

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Aleix Espargaro has been thrust into the limelight after the Spaniard landed a shock slot in the Pramac Ducati squad for the Indianapolis and Misano races.

The 20-year-old, who had no ride in 2009, has suddenly been given a dream chance to take on Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo with the Pramac squad drafting him in to replace Mika Kallio.

Finn Kallio is currently on secondment to Ducati’s factory team as cover for 2007 world champion Casey Stoner, who is out of action until the Estoril race at the earliest because of on-going health issues. Espargaro, who has raced in only 250GP race so far in 2009, said: “I am very happy as this season has been very hard for me. We are beginning a project for next year to be back in the world championship, and this will be a good occasion to get back in touch with my world.

"This season I have ridden a couple of races in the 250cc category at Assen and the Sachsenring, finishing in fourth and seventh positions, therefore I feel physically ready. It's like a dream come true to find myself all of a sudden in MotoGP.”

Espargaro has been drafted to take Kallio’s GP9 ride with Ducati’s WSB factory rider Michel Fabrizio unavailable after he raced in Brno last weekend. John Hopkins was also considered for the ride, as was former Scot Honda rider Yuki Takahashi, who was axed in favour of Gabor Talmacsi earlier this season.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt