Finally official after months of speculation, Pramac Ducati has announced the addition of MotoGP veteran Loris Capirossi to its quasi-satellite Ducati team. Signing a one-year contract, Capirex has already been released from his post-season duties with Suzuki, and will ride the green and white Pramac Ducati during the Valencian test in two week’s time.
Suzuki is not expected to replace Capirossi, and has instead forged a deal with Dorna that sees the Japanese company staying involved in GP racing through 2013. There is however some speculation that Hirosihi Aoyama could land on a satellite Suzuki, but that idea seems to be more wishful thinking, then a well formulated plan (the factory Suzuki had a hard enough time keeping up with the satellite squads, so how would a satellite Suzuki fare?).
With Carlos Checa taking the place of Mika Kallio in the Pramac squad this weekend and at Valencia, the Finnish rider seems the likely candidate for Capirossi’s seat usurpation. However with both Pramac riders having abysmal seasons, Aleix Espargaro is likely still not breathing a sigh of relief. With riders like Randy de Puniet and Hiroshi Aoyama still without a ride for the 2011 season, more movements in MotoGP could occur.
“This return on a Ducati bike make me feel like a child. I do not feel my 37 years!” said Capirossi, talking of his move to the Pramac team. “I have a great desire to start this new adventure, I’m enormously pleased about this new agreement that was reached with the Pramac Racing Team, this will allow me to ride and be part of an Italian Team.”
“I would like to thank the Team Principal of the Pramac Racing Team, Paolo Campinoti, for giving me this great opportunity and for the confidence placed in me. I’ll find again the Ducati, with whom I had very good results over the past years and that I was able to develop in the 2007, this is an unique sensation for me. I thank Suzuki for the years we spent together and thanks also to the excellent relationship maintained with them, they had give me the possibility to race with my new Team since Valencia’s test of next month.”
Source: Pramac Ducati