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 road racing categories. The Apulian, who is about to begin his eleventh season with Ducati as a rider for the MotoGP Test Team, was crowned European 125 GP Champion in 2004 and became Italian Champion nine 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, 2021 and 2022 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 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. In addition, 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.