News 4 Nov 2009

MotoGP: Espargaro to replace Canepa again at season finale

Spaniard Aleix Espargaro will replace the injured Niccolo Canepa in the final round of the MotoGP World Championship at Valencia on Sunday, riding for the Pramac Ducati team in his fourth race of the season.

Canepa was injured at Phillip Island during Friday practice, and after surgery including a the skin graft at Melbourne hospital, the Italian rider had to miss the race in Malaysia and will now miss the season finale to avoid the reopening of the cut.

“First of all I want to wish to Niccolo Canepa a quick recovery and I hope to see him back on track really soon,” said Espargaro. “For me this will be a really particular weekend full of emotions – it will be my first grand prix as a MotoGP rider on Spanish soil.

“In the previous races ridden with the Pramac Racing Team I went quite well but I still have to improve a lot to compete for better positions. Naturally I still need some time, I am still the rider with the least experience in this category and I have a lot to learn.”

Espargaro has signed for the team fulltime for the 2010 season, replacing Canepa alongside Finn Mika Kallio.

“I am very sad as I will not be able to step on track this weekend at Valencia,” said Canepa. “I really cared about competing in this last grand prix of the season to end it with a good result. Now I will have to think about getting back at the best physical conditions and go back on track whichever will be my next sport adventure.”