Pirro steps up to MotoGP with Gresini
6 December 2011 – Michele Pirro will graduate to MotoGP with Gresini in 2012, the same team for which he competed in the Moto2 Championship this year. The Italian memorably won the season finale of the feeder category in Valencia, just days after fellow Gresini rider Marco Simoncelli was killed in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Alongside his sole victory, the 25-year-old claimed one third place result and a further nine points finishes.
"We have decided that it feels right for a new project such as (Claiming Rule Teams) CRT to give Michele Pirro the opportunity to show his talent. He demonstrated in the closing stages of the 2011 Moto2 World Championship that he has the technical ability to improve further as a rider and we believe that he can be one of the leading CRT riders.
"His fantastic and truly unforgettable win at Valencia was emotional for all of us in the team and it convinced us that he is worthy of this chance. We are also obviously an Italian team so it is also important to us to carry this new project forward with an Italian rider in Michele."
Pirro was equally as delighted, admitting that although his original plan was to continue in Moto2 next season, team boss Gresini convinced him otherwise.
"I am happy to have made this choice and proud to be competing with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini in this new adventure," he explained. "It wasn't an easy decision because my initial priority was to build on my results from 2011 in Moto2, but the faith shown in me by Fausto Gresini at the end of the season left me in little doubt which route I should take.
"I am honoured to remain part of this fantastic group of people and to be joining them in an ambitious project that represents the future of MotoGP. Hopefully I can pay back the faith they have shown in me with some good results and technical development."