Pramac confirm Kallio, Canepa for 2009
|By David Wright
||Sunday, October 19th 2008, 08:25 GMT
Pramac Racing have confirmed Mika Kallio and Niccolo Canepa will be the team's two riders for the 2009 MotoGP season.
The Finn and the Italian will ride Ducati Desmosedici GP9 Sat and replace Toni Elias and Sylvain Guintoli, Elias returning to the Gresini Honda team while Guintoli will be moving to British Superbikes.
Kallio will step up to the MotoGP class after two years in 250s, currently third in this year's championship with one race remaining. Earlier in his career he twice finished second overall in the 125cc championship in 2005 and 2006.
His teammate, Italian Nicooli Canepa, will join the series after riding Ducatis throughout his career in Superstock racing, as well as developing the 1098R Superbike and being a test rider for the Ducati Superbike and MotoGP efforts.
Pramac team principal Paolo Campinoti is looking forward to next season with two young riders, while grateful to this year's riders and what they achieved for the team this season.
"We are very happy to have two very promising riders in Kallio and Canepa," said Campinoti. "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'.
"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."