In a move that potentially could severely undercut the Ducati Corse development program, Italian media is reporting that Aprilia has contacted Ducati test pilot Michele Pirro regarding a full time position on the Aprilia factory GP entry that deploys in 2015. It’s known that Pirro considers his time as a tester as a gap position and his desire to return to the grid is no secret. It’s also a pretty safe assumption that his desirability to Aprilia would be enhanced by both his knowledge of the Ducati program as well as the bonus add that it sets back the ex Aprilia boss Gigi Dall’Igna.
The report indicates that Pirro has expressed his desire to Dall’Igna, who would like to keep him in the role of test driver, understandable because 2015 for Ducati is an important year with the arrival of the new bike, ongoing software updates, and of course the new Michelin tires that Pirro has already tested. This is experience that neither of the riders reportedly being considered for remaining Pramac position (Loris Baz and Mike di Meglio) have and presumably could use help with. Pirro is a key ingredient to Ducati Corse’s perpetual forward motion and moving him to the Pramac seat does not solve the situation because of testing restrictions on active riders.
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