Michele Pirro

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 twelfth 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 sixth place at Portimão as his best result, and with the same bike, he became the 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, the 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 other 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. 

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. 

Also in 2022, Pirro participated as a wild card in the two Italian MotoGP Grands Prix and the Catalan GP at the Montmeló circuit aboard a Desmosedici GP in the colours of the Aruba.it Racing team. The Apulian rider also confirmed himself Italian Superbike Champion for the sixth time with the Panigale V4R of the Barni Racing Team, with which he scored seven victories.

In 2023, Pirro participated in the two Italian MotoGP events with the colours of the Aruba.it Racing team. Additionally, he stepped in for the injured Enea Bastianini in the Ducati Lenovo Team for the races in America, India, and Japan. In the Italian Superbike Championship, Michele came close to the title, finishing the season in second place, just 4 points behind fellow Ducati rider Lorenzo Zanetti (Broncos Racing Team). In 2024, Pirro will continue as a test rider with the MotoGP test team and aims to regain the Italian Championship crown with the Barni Spark Racing Team

Personal file

  • Age: 37 (born on 5th July 1986) 
  • Birth Place: San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy 
  • Residence: Cesena, Italy
  • Height: 5 ft, 8 in (178 cm) 
  • Weight: 163 lb (74 kg) 
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