Michele Pirro has penned a deal to remain as Ducati’s MotoGP test rider for a further three years, the Italian set to spearhead the Desmosedici’s development until at least 2026.
Pirro has held the role as Ducati’s chief test rider since 2013, the one-time Moto2 race victor having had a significant hand in transforming the Italian marque’s premier class challenger from a midfielder to a multi-time championship winner across his time with the brand.
He has also taken part in 45 MotoGP races as part of his role within the Ducati, Pirro securing his best result of fourth in the 2018 season finale at Valencia, though his main racing programme is in the Italian Superbike Championship with Ducati’s Panigale V4 R machine – in which he has secured a formidable six titles over the past eight seasons.
Speaking about the news of his three-year extension as Ducati’s MotoGP tester, Pirro admitted that he “can’t imagine myself in any other colour” than Ducati red such is the extent of his tenure with the manufacturer, adding that he is “very proud” with the progress he has helped be a part of so far.
“Most of my sporting career has been with Ducati, and I can’t imagine myself in any other colour than the red of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer,” said Pirro.
“I arrived here in 2013, probably during the most difficult years for Ducati Corse, but now I am also experiencing the best ones for the company.
“I am very proud of what we have done together. I have worked closely with the new generation of Italian riders and always learn something new from them.
“As always, I will work hard to continue contributing to developing the Desmosedici GP and the Panigale V4.
“I thank Claudio, Gigi, Paolo and Davide, and all the people who believe in me. Forza Ducati always!”
Pirro’s Ducati announcement comes just two weeks before his first scheduled wild-card outing of the season in his home event at Mugello, with at least a further race run expected to come in September’s San Marino GP at Misano.