Ducati test rider Michele Pirro will substitute for Jorge Martin at the Italian Grand Prix as the Spaniard continues his recovery.

Martin had a serious crash in FP3 for the Portuguese Grand Prix last month, breaking a few bones and being ruled out for a while. Despite initial hopes he would be fit in time for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, he hasn’t recovered enough to race next weekend.

It means Ducati’s test rider Pirro will take to the track for the first time since last year’s Styrian Grand Prix when he replaced Francesco Bagnaia. Pirro was unavailable to substitute for the Spanish and French Grands Prix due to testing commitments, meaning Tito Rabat rode the second Pramac bike for those weekends.

Pirro is no stranger to MotoGP or Mugello. As Ducati’s test and reserve rider he has tested around the track many times and has competed in every Italian Grand Prix since 2012. He’s a regular wildcard at the San Marino and Valencia Grands Prix too and replaces Ducati riders when they’re injured, as was the case in 2013 and 2016 when he participated in most of the season as a substitute.

Martin is expected to be fit for the Catalan Grand Prix in two weeks time.

Journalist, writing various articles for ASN. MotoGP specialist and ASN's resident motorsports history nerd. Can generally be found screaming at stupid strategy choices while watching the tv.