Pirro on wildcarding at Misano: "For this year, the wildcard is a dream!"

Thursday, 6 June 2024 09:49 GMT

The Italian reveals all on the Adriatic, including wildcarding, the level of WorldSBK and life as a Ducati testing star.

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship continues to gear up for the next round of racing, coming from Misano, Italy. Whilst on the Adriatic Coast, Michele Pirro, the official test rider for the Bologna manufacturer, sat down to discuss all things wildcarding, WorldSBK and being a core part of Ducati’s success over the past half-decade.

LIFE TESTING THE BOLOGNA BULLET: “This is not simple…but this is my job”

Michele Pirro is a core, fundamental component of Ducati’s setup, playing a pivotal role in testing and development of all racing machinery. Pirro sat down to discuss his views on testing such a variety of machinery. It is interesting to note that Pirro had split duties, testing the Desmosedici GP bike in the morning, before switching to the Panigale V4 R Superbike in the afternoon. Speaking about his role, Pirro said: “This is not simple! When you arrive at the track, and you use two different bikes at the same track…it’s for the whole package. When you exit the track two or three times just for new parts and then after switch for a new bike, this is not simple. But this is my job. The first thing that is important is to improve the MotoGP™ area, and now in the afternoon I only try and improve the Superbike and keep the feeling. I understand the tyres and the bike. The feeling is improving lap by lap, and I am happy.”

WILDCARDING AT MISANO: “Good chance to stay at a good level”

The #51 rider next spoke about the opportunity to appear in a wildcard capacity for Ducati on the Italian Coast. Needless to say, the Italian was extremely happy about the opportunity to ride a Panigale V4 R. Speaking about his upcoming wildcard appearance, Michele had this to say: “For this year, the wildcard is a dream! WorldSBK is a good chance to stay at a good level. For my job, as a test rider, it is necessary to stay at a top level, and this wildcard is a great chance to do that.” Pirro also offered a realistic insight into his chances during his wildcard, saying this: “Today, my big problem is understanding the front feeling, because the Pirelli tyre is a different story compared to Michelin, and also the Dunlop. I check the data of the other riders, but I try my best.”


Given his extensive experience of testing the Ducati Panigale V4 R and being generally involved within Ducati’s WorldSBK efforts, Pirro was asked for his views on the Championship, and offered this insight: “I am old, compared to five or six years ago! I see the level of WorldSBK is very high and the bikes are very competitive. I see the BMW and also the Yamaha is fighting a lot more compared to the past. But we will see at the race weekend. It’s my home race, and I’m really happy to be riding in the Aruba colours at the Italian race.”

PIRRO PROCESSES PART PLAYED IN DUCATI SUCCESS: “The story is completely different to when I joined”

Lastly, Italian Pirro was asked whether he felt proud of his part played in the revitalisation of Ducati’s competitive fortunes across the motorsport classes. Pondering this question, Pirro said: “The story is completely different to when I joined Ducati in MotoGP™ 12 years ago. I am really happy, because I am still in the middle of all of this, and I test the best bikes. When you are one rider, you are also trying to put all this experience and information into this one bike. I think this is the first company to try and create this situation. Not just with one thing, but over the last five or six years, trying to improve in EVERY championship.”

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