Michele Pirro insists joining Ducati as a test rider does not represent a backward step even though it will leave him without a full-time race program for the first time in more than a decade.
The Italian competed for Gresini in MotoGP's CRT class in 2012, effectively finishing best of the rest behind Aspar duo Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet. He elected to join Ducati in a testing role rather than pursue a full-time ride for next year.
Pirro is confident the move will pay dividends in the long-term, giving him both increased credibility and a chance to fight for "something important" when Ducati places him in either MotoGP or World Superbikes in 2013. The Italian team confirmed last week that Pirro will get three wild card starts in MotoGP next year.
"It may be a step backwards, but I most of all see the step forward I will do," Pirro told Motosprint. "I live for racing, it's true, and I can't race now, but this is a chance to understand if I can become a winner.
"I prefer to do fewer races, but doing them with the right support. I'm looking for credibility, and I'm determined to take advantage of every chance – even the smallest one – Ducati grant me.
"In 2013 I will do testing and will enter three MotoGP races. In 2014 I will have a competition program, in MotoGP or in Superbike. It hasn't been decided yet, but what counts is that I will enter a whole world championship season; and not just to make up the numbers, but to try to fight for something important. That was my objective."