Pirro to replace Baz in Catalunya

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Michele Pirro will replace the injured Loris Baz for the Catalan round of the 2016 MotoGP championship next weekend in Barcelona, after the Frenchman sustained injuries to his foot in a crash last time out in Mugello.

Undergoing surgery earlier this week to have multiple pieces of metalwork placed to help repair numerous badly broken bones in his foot, the Frenchman is now aiming for a return at Assen in a month’s time.

And while he remains out of action, Ducati test rider Michele Pirro will step in for his fifth outing from the season’s first seven races. Deputising already for the injured Danilo Petrucci on the Pramac Racing GP15 machine and wildcarding at Mugello on a GP16, he’ll now also get the chance to ride Avintia’s GP14.2-specification bike.

But, speaking as the news on Baz’s replacement was announced, team boss Agustin Escobar says that allowing Pirro to ride allows the team to make the best of the situation.

"Our first wish is a speedy recovery to Loris. We look forward to seeing you soon in the box because we are his family here and we are supporting him to see him again on the bike, hopefully he will be in Assen.

“And I want to thank Ducati for loaning us Michele Pirro to replace Loris in the next race. We could not have found a better pilot. I think it will be very important that Michele is up to our bike in Barcelona, ​​because he is a fast driver and he knows very well the Ducati.

“It will be interesting to work with him, and all the information he can provide to help our technicians will be very useful to advance the electronic section and the development of the bike."

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer