Ducati confident Michele Pirro will remain Desmosedici test rider

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Ducati is confident that test and development rider Michele Pirro will sign a new contract, despite interest from Italian rivals Aprilia about a MotoGP racing contract in 2015.

Pirro has been Ducati’s test rider since the end of 2012 when he gave up racing after his only full season in the premier class with the Gresini FTR-Honda.

But the 28-year-old has attracted interest from Aprilia to be part of their new MotoGP project.

Aprilia is back with its first official factory foray in MotoGP since 2004 and has already signed experienced Alvaro Bautista.

Marco Melandri is still a leading candidate for the second ride, despite his apparent reluctance to switch from World Superbikes.

Ducati boss Gigi Dall’Igna though remains confident that Pirro will sign a new testing deal with the Bologna factory and is hopeful of clinching a deal now the paddock has completed the gruelling flyaway triple-header in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.

The Italian told MCN: “In my opinion Michele will continue with us. We didn’t sign the contract yet but I think when we return from Sepang we will be able to sign with him.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt