“We are very happy to have two very promising riders in Kallio and Canepa. Mika is doing really well in 250 and we are confident that he will be able to continue his positive trend in the top class. Niccolo has shown his abilities on the Ducati Desmosedici during this seasons tests and this has convinced Ducati and us to let him step up into MotoGP. Together with Ducati we have agreed to create a sort of 'junior team,” said Pramac team principal Paolo Campinoti on Sunday.
He concluded by thanking the current riders for their performances throughout the 2008 MotoGP season: “A part of me is sad that we are not able to continue with our current riders, Toni Elias and Sylvain Guintoli, because they have done a lot for the Alice Team during this season. I want to publically thank them for their work and for bringing us to date, two unforgettable podiums. I wish them a future rich in success and happiness.”
Kallio is currently 3rd overall in the 250cc standings – and has a good chance of keeping that position by the end of the season – after previously ranking 7th for Red Bull KTM in 2007. In 2005 and 2006, the Fin was runner-up in the 125cc class to Switzerland’s Thomas Lutho and Spaniard Alvaro Bautista respectively.
As for Canepa, the Italian debuted in the FIM Superstock 600 Cup and finished runner-up in 2006, clinching the Superstock 1000 World Cup a year later. He will become the first MotoGP rider to enter the championship after a testing season with Ducati’s works team in 2007. He also tested for Ducati Xerox Team in the World Superbike Championship the same year, helping the Italians to develop their 1098R model.
Current Pramac Racing riders chose different paths for 2009. Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli is set to debut inside the powerful British Superbike Championship, while Toni Elias will return to Honda Gresini alongside San Marino’s Alex de Angelis.