Born in San Giovanni Rotondo on 5th July 1986, Michele Pirro is one of the most experienced riders in the paddock, having competed - with good results - in practically all racing categories. The Apulian, who is about to begin his tenth season with Ducati as a rider for the MotoGP Test Team, was crowned European 125 GP Champion in 2004 and became Italian Champion seven times. He won the national titles in Superstock in 2007 and 2008, in Supersport in 2009 and then in Superbike in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 with Ducati.
Pirro made his world-stage debut in 2003 as a wild-card in the 125cc class. The following year, he raced again in the Italian GP as a wild-card and in the Valencia GP to replace the injured Marco Simoncelli. Pirro would then participate in the entire World Championship in 2005 and 2006 before switching to production-based motorcycle championships.
In 2007, Pirro made his debut in Superstock 1000, taking part in both the FIM Cup and CiV, where he won the Italian title two years in a row. In 2009 he competed in World Supersport, finishing the season in twelfth place, with a sixth-place at Portimão as his best result, and with the same bike, he became Italian Champion. 2010 saw Pirro continuing his commitment to Supersport, and he also took part in the Moto2 Aragón GP. The following year he joined the Fiamme Oro, sporting group of the Italian Police Force, competing the entire season in Moto2. He finished third in Britain, while in Valencia, he took pole and victory, racing with the #58 plate in memory of the late Marco Simoncelli.
In 2012, Pirro moved up into MotoGP, racing in the CRT category. Thanks to good results, he joined Ducati in 2013 as a test rider to develop the Desmosedici GP bike and participated in three races as a wild-card. He also stood in for the injured Ben Spies within the Pramac Racing Team in seven others GPs and took part in the last round of the Superbike World Championship as a replacement for Carlos Checa on the Ducati 1199.
Pirro continued his testing activity the following year and replaced Cal Crutchlow in the factory team for the Argentina GP. He competed in five races as a wild-card, scoring eighteen points and ending the year 19th overall. The 2015 season saw him again with Ducati, with three appearances in MotoGP as a wild-card and two in World Superbike on the Panigale R in place of Davide Giugliano. Pirro scored points in almost every race, finishing 21st in both championships. Also, he took part in CiV on the Panigale R of the Barni Racing Team, dominating the Superbike category and winning half of the races on the calendar.
The 2016 season saw him taking part in nine GPs: two as a wild-card on the third factory bike and two as a replacement for Andrea Iannone in the factory team. He also replaced Danilo Petrucci in the Pramac Racing Team in three races and Loris Baz in the Avintia Racing Team in two more, picking up 36 points and finishing 19th in the standings. In 2017 he took part in three races as a wild-card on the third factory bike, scoring twenty-five points. He repeated his success in Superbike at CiV, taking his Panigale R to victory in 11 out of 12 races.
In 2018, despite a short break from racing due to a nasty crash in practice at Mugello, Pirro participated in three races in MotoGP, scoring his best career result with a fourth place in the final GP at Valencia. Pirro also claimed the Italian Superbike Championship title at CiV for the third time with eight wins.
In 2019, Michele continued his national championship domination and was crowned Champion again with nine wins and three second places. During the same year, the Apulian rider made three wild-card appearances in MotoGP in the Italian GP, the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP and the Valencia GP. 2020 saw him taking part in his sixth season in CiV with the Barni Racing Team. He also raced at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, with the Pramac Racing Team as a replacement for the injured Pecco Bagnaia.
In 2021, with 11 victories out of 12 races held and a second place, Michele secured his fifth Superbike title in the Italian Championship, where he retook part with the Panigale V4 R of the Barni Racing Team. The same year, the Italian rider also participated in the MotoGP World Championship on three occasions. In the Italian GP at Mugello, Pirro replaced the injured Jorge Martín in the Pramac Racing Team. Then, he took part in the two events held at the Misano World Circuit "Marco Simoncelli" in September and October as a wild-card with the Ducati Test Team.
In addition to defending the Superbike Italian title wearing the Bergamo-based team's colours again, Pirro will continue his important work as a tester in 2022. Apart from developing the Ducati Desmosedici GP, Michele will continue to test the new Ducati MotoE, which will make its debut in the FIM MotoE World Cup in 2023 and on which he has already been able to put in the first kilometres at Misano Adriatico last December.
- Age: 35 (born on 5th July 1986)
- Birth Place: San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
- Residence: Cesena, Italy
- Marital Status: Single
- Height: 5 ft, 8 in (178 cm)
- Weight: 152 lb (69 kg)
- Official Website: www.mpirro.it
- Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
- Race Number: 51
- GPs started: 107 (60 x MotoGP, 18 x Moto2, 29 x 125cc)
- First GP: Qatar 2012 (MotoGP), Aragón 2010 (Moto2), Italy 2003 (125cc)
- Wins: 1 (Moto2)
- First Win: Valencia 2011 (Moto2)
- Pole Positions: 1 (Moto2)
- First Pole: Valencia 2011 (Moto2)
- Points: 229 (MotoGP) + 86 (Moto2) + 3 (125cc)