MICHELE PIRRO, winner of the final Moto2 race at Valencia, has been confirmed as riding the Gresini Honda CRT machine in 2012.
Continuing their partnership from Moto2 into MotoGP, Pirro will ride the Gresini team's CRT entry, a Honda CBR1000RR engine inside an FTR chassis. The 25-year-old Italian is joining Álvaro Bautista, who will ride a Honda RC213V.
"I’m happy to have made this decision and proud to join the San Carlo Honda Gresini team in this interesting new adventure," said Pirro. "It wasn’t an easy decision to make because of the fact that initially I had wanted to try to improve on the 2011 results I had in Moto2, but the growing confidence that Fausto Gresini had for me at the end of the season left me with no doubt about the choice to take.
"I feel honored to continue to be a part of this fantastic group and to work together with them on this ambitious project that represents the future of MotoGP. I hope to return the confidence they have in me with results and technical contributions to this exciting team."
Team boss, Fausto Gresini added: "We think that for a new project like CRT, the right thing to do was give Michele Pirro an opportunity to further demonstrate his potential. In the final round of the Moto2 World Championship, he certified that he has the technical and competitive qualities and we believe that in this new category of CRT he can be one of the protagonists."
"His victory in Valencia was impressive and memorable; he provided us all enthusiasm and encouraged us to want to be a part of this fascinating adventure. Also, we have keep in mind that we are a Italian team, this is important for us, and the decision to do this project with Michele is also the result of this standpoint."
Team Gresini will also expand their line-up to cover all three of the MotoGP classes, with a Moto3 entry joining the existing MotoGP and Moto2.