Now before we get ahead of ourselves, we should preface that Carlos Checa is not making a MotoGP comeback, but the former GP rider will ride the last two rounds of the 2010 MotoGP season. Checa has just signed a two-year contract renewal with Althea Ducati, after having a very strong season on the satellite Ducati squad, and has impressed many top-level players in the Ducati squad. The same however cannot be said of Mika Kallio, who looked to be a promising upcoming rider in his rookie year last season, has been an utter disappointment this season, and currently sits last in the standings of full-time riders.
Pramac Ducati, which despite its satellite status is basically the factory training ground for Ducati Corse, has obviously struggled this year as well, and would like to at least finish the season on a high note. Inviting Carlos Checa out to Mugello on Tuesday, the Spanish rider got rewarded for his hard work in WSBK, and took the Ducati Desmosedici GP10 out for a romp. According to the Spanish media, Checa has been given the green light to race for Pramac in Estoril and Valencia instead of Kallio. There has however been no official word from Ducati on the rider switch.
Should the rider swap pan-out (at this time it seems almost a certainty, with Spain’s more reliable racing sources citing its validity), this would effectively end Mika Kallio’s 2010 season, and likely his tenure with Pramac Ducati. The Finnish rider has not yet been picked up for another season by the Italian squad, and rumors peg German Max Neukirchner as a likely successor. Pramac also looks set to lose Aleix Espargaro, as Loris Capirossi has been heavily rumored to be taking the Spaniard’s spot, with Randy de Puniet linked to Capirossi’s seat in the factory Suzuki squad.
The 38-year-old Checa last rode in MotoGP in 2007 for the LCR Honda crew, before retiring to greener pastures in World Superbike. Finishing third this season in WSBK, Checa did better than the factory Ducati boys, Haga and Fabrizio, and could likely mount a descent race effort in MotoGP. Stay tuned race fans, a video provided by Carlos Checa of the Mugello test is below (apologies for the low quality, TwitVid is a horrible service).