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Michele Pirro

?Born in San Giovanni Rotondo (Italy) on 5th July 1986, Michele Pirro is one of the most experienced riders in the paddock, having competed – with good results – in basically all categories of racing. The Italian rider, who is ready to begin his seventh season in Ducati as rider-tester of the Test Team, became European 125 GP champion in 2004 and went on to take six Italian titles. He won the national title in Superstock in 2007 and 2008, in Supersport in 2009, and in Superbike in 2015, 2017 and 2018 (with Ducati).

His debut on the world stage dates back to 2003, when he had a wild-card ride in the 125cc class. The following year he again raced in Italy as a wild-card and in the Valencia GP as replacement for the injured Marco Simoncelli. He took part in the championship full-time in 2005 and 2006, then switched to production-based bikes.?

In 2007, Pirro debuted in Superstock 1000, taking part in both the FIM Cup and in the national series (CIV), where he won the Italian title two years in a row. In 2009 he raced in World Supersport and finished the season in twelfth place, with a sixth place at Portimao as his best result. With the same bike, on the other hand, he was crowned Italian champion. 2010 saw him once again competing in World Supersport, and he also took part in the Moto2 race at Aragon. In 2011, Pirro joined the Fiamme Oro, the sporting section of the Italian Police Force, taking part in the entire Moto2 season. He finished third in Britain while at Valencia took the pole and the win, racing with the #58 plate in memory of the late Marco Simoncelli.?

?In 2012, Pirro moved up into MotoGP to race in the CRT category and, thanks to good results, he joined Ducati in 2013 as test-rider for the development of the new GP13. He took part in three races as a wild-card while in another seven he stood in for the injured Ben Spies within the Pramac Racing Team. The following year he continued his testing activity with numerous tests on the Ducati MotoGP bike, while he also took part in the final round of the World Superbike Championship as replacement for Carlos Checa on the Ducati 1199.

In 2014, Pirro continued his vital development work and was called in to replace the injured Cal Crutchlow in the factory team at the Argentina GP. He took part in five more races as a wild-card, scoring 18 points and ending the year nineteenth overall. The 2015 season saw him again with Ducati, with three races in MotoGP as a wild-card, and two in World Superbike in place of Davide Giugliano on the Panigale R. He scored points in almost all of the races he took part in, finishing 21st in both championships. In addition, Michele took part in CIV on a Barni Racing Panigale R, dominating the Superbike category and winning the championship hands down.

The 2016 season saw him take part in nine GPs: two as a wild-card on the factory bike and two in place of Iannone within the Ducati Team. He replaced Danilo Petrucci in three races with the Pramac Racing Team, and Loris Baz two more with Avintia Ducati, picking up 36 points in the World Championship and finishing 19th overall. In 2017 he took part in three races as a wild-card on the third factory bike, scoring 25 points. He also repeated his success in CIV Superbike, taking his Panigale R to victory in 11 out of 12 races. In 2018, despite a brief break from racing due to a nasty crash at Mugello, Pirro took part in three MotoGP races, saving his best result for last with a brilliant 4th place finish at Valencia. With eight wins, he also claimed his third CIV Superbike title.

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