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With the news that Ben Spies will skip  the upcoming race in Jerez, and instead nurse his injured shoulder, Ducati has unsurprisingly tapped its GP test-rider Michele Pirro to help replace the American for the Spanish GP.

Taking one of his three planned wild card rides this year, Pirro will not only help maintin the ranks in the Ducati squads, but will also campaign the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 development bike during the race weekend for Ducati Corse.

A rolling testbed for Ducati’s technical developments in MotoGP, improvements made by Ducati Corse for the Desmosedici make a final stop on Pirro’s test bike before they make their way into the MotoGP teams’ garages.

A former GP-rider himself, Pirro is one of the few test riders capable of putting the GP13 under the same intensities as the four MotoGP riders in Ducati, and thus his laps and input are critical factors in developing the GP13 for Ducati Corse.

Spotted in the pre-season during the official MotoGP tests, Pirro’s development GP13 has been seen with noticeable differences to the chassis, and presumably even more modifications hidden within the engine and electronics.

Ducati corse says he will test a number of new parts on his machine during the weekend, which should bring some valuable data back to Bologna for the engineers. What will be even more interesting to see is Pirro’s results, and how they compare to the other three Ducati riders.

Source: Ducati Corse