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A number of familiar faces return to the paddock for wildcards at the incredible Mugello circuit.
As has become a tradition in recent years, Michele Pirro will be out on track as part of the factory Ducati Team as a wildcard. He’s already had ample experience riding in 2016, filling in for the injured Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) in Argentina, America and Jerez. During these three races he had a best finish of eighth in Austin, equalling his second best finish since joining Ducati. These rides will have given him crucial insight into the new Michelin tyres, which have undergone several changes since Pirro first started testing them.
Pirro’s best ever finish as part of Ducati came at Mugello in 2013 with the Pramac squad when filling in for the injured Ben Spies, snagging seventh. Mugello always seems to bring out the best in Pirro, 11th his worst finish at the circuit with Ducati. Having frequently run tests before the race weekend also doesn’t hurt his performance, almost always challenge for top Ducati honours early in the weekend. Wildcards in the MotoGP™ World Championship, Pirro and Ducati one of the few to regularly pop up in home GPs.
In the intermediate class Federico Fuligni will be riding with Team Ciatti once again, his fifth World Championship appearance but his first time in Mugello. This will be his first time back on track for a race since his wildcard in Jerez where he finished 18th. Fuligni remains third in the CEV standings as only the Moto3™ class have had a second round. Riding in Mugello is always a special experience for Italian riders, no doubt Fuligni’s first World Championship run at the track will be an unforgettable one.
His fellow Italian CEV runner Davide Pizzoli also looks set to make yet another World Championship appearance in the Moto3™ class, his third ever and his second of 2016. Pizzoli had been set to run with his Procercasa – 42 Motorsport team in Le Mans, but was ruled out due to injury. This will be Pizzoli’s first time running in the World Championship in his native Italy.
A pair of riders will also return to the World Championship as substitutes for injured riders. Efren Vazquez continues to recover from the injuries he sustained in Austin and will be replaced by the experienced Ricky Cardus. Cardus is very familiar with both the Suter and the JPMoto Malaysia Team, having spent the second half of 2015 with them. During their time together Cardus achieved a best result of sixth at the Japanese GP, his best ever World Championship finish.
In Le Mans Philipp Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) broke his wrist in a fall and will be replaced by FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Championship front-runner Lorenzo Dalla Porta. The Italian ran on a Husqvarna in the World Championship for much of 2015 and scored twice with a best finish of eighth in Silverstone. Dalla Porta is racing in the CEV this year and took his first win in Le Mans, he’s ready to impress once again.
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