Former World Superbike champion Neil Hodgson has signed with Ducati to be their official MotoGP test rider.

The British rider will replace the injured Shinichi Itoh in the testing role, and he is looking forward to riding the new 800cc bike.

“I’m excited to ride one of the 800s,” Hodgson toldĀ Motorcycle News. “I watched the first GP, never really thinking I’d get the chance to ride one.

“I’m chuffed for a couple of reasons. Number one is that I want to ride a bike as soon as possible, and number two is no matter how much training you do, there is no substitute for doing laps.”

Hodgson raced for the D’Antin Ducati team in MotoGP in 2004, but then spent the next two years racing for the Italian manufacturer in the AMA Superbike series in America.

He has been chasing a ride in World Superbikes for this year, but he is hoping that his new role could lead to riding for the works Ducati team in MotoGP at some point.

“It’s a great opportunity to get dialled in so that if the need arises to fill in for someone injured, I’ll be ready,” he added.


“Looking at the way the bikes work, I know I’ll go better on a bike like that than one that is really loose and sliding everywhere.”


Ducati team boss Livio Suppo added: “Neil was an obvious choice given his availability, he is well known by Ducati and has lots of experience.”


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