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, 2018 and 2019 (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.

The following year, Pirro continued his testing activity 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. With eight wins, Pirro also claimed the Italian Superbike Championship title at CiV for the third time.

In 2019, Michele continued his national championship domination and was once again crowned Champion 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 raced also at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, with the Pramac Racing Team as a replacement for the injured Pecco Bagnaia.

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