Ducati MotoGP satellite riders named

Gibernau steps out of retirement

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Oct. 24, 2008
Sete Gibernau was introduced as the rider for Ducati’s new MotoGP satellite team ONDE 2000 at a press conference in Valencia, Spain.

Gibernau steps out of retirement to pilot the new team’s bike. The veteran Spanish rider retired following the 2006 season but resurfaced this season to test Ducati’s Desmosedici GP9.

“I’m excited about what it means to be a MotoGP rider, I’ve come back to enjoy it again and it’s a good opportunity for me,” says Gibernau on MotoGP’s official website. “That’s my main goal; to enjoy riding. I’m still open to learning again, even at 35.”

Gibernau will race under the number 59 to mark the year his grandfather’s company, Bultaco, built its first bike. The ONDE 2000 Desmosedici sports a white and black color scheme with gold highlights. Gibernau has nine career Grand Prix victories and 30 appearances on the podium. His best season was in 2003

Sete Gibernau will return to MotoGP racing in 2009 for ONDE 2000 Ducati.Meanwhile Ducati’s other satellite team, Alice Ducati also announced its 2009 season team this week. While ONDE 2000 opted to have a rider with plenty of MotoGP experience, Alice Ducati decided to field two riders who are new to the class in Finnish racer Mika Kallio and Italian Niccolo Canepa.

Kallio, 25, will make his debut in the premier class after competing five years in the 125cc class and two in the 250cc class. Kallio has raced the last five seasons for Red Bull KTM, finishing second in the 125cc championships in 2005 and 2006. Kallio is currently third in the 250cc championships.

While his new teammate made his mark competing in the smaller-displacement Grand Prix classes, Canepa enters the MotoGP class thanks to his experience as a test rider. The 20-year-old Canepa played an important role in the development of the Ducati 1098R Superbike and the Desmosedici GP8. Canepa also won the 2007 Superstock 1000 FIM Cup and competed in three World Superbike races in 2008 as a wildcard entrant.

“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,” says Alice Ducati chief Paolo Campinoti. “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.”

With two satellite teams for 2009, Ducati’s MotoGP project manager Livio Suppo says that Alice Ducati and ONDE 2000 will have access to the same information and technology as the factory Ducati Marlboro team featuring Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden.