The Pramac Racing team has confirmed that Spaniard Aleix Espargaro will remain with the squad in the 2010 season.
The 20-year-old made his MotoGP debut at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, where he replaced Mika Kallio while the Finn subbed for Casey Stoner in the factory squad.
Since then, Espargaro has impressed the team, who has decided to retain him for the 2010 season, replacing Niccolo Canepa alongside Kallio.
"Our collaboration with Ducati Corse became stronger through the years and from this season we have begun the project to become a sort of junior team where to grow young talented rider," said team boss Paolo Campinoti.
"This year we have already obtained good results thanks to Mika Kallio's performances and this is why the Finnish rider will remain with us next season.
"This is and will be our mentality; in fact, from this point it has begun the idea to give the possibility to Aleix to ride for us in 2010. In Indianapolis he demonstrated to be competitive since the first laps in both track conditions, dry and wet, and in Misano he confirmed his good feeling with this category.
"We really count on him; his attitude and devotion to this sport give us a lot of trust. He is a determined rider and we are sure that he will give us a lot of satisfactions."
Espargaro, who became the youngest Spaniard to start a MotoGP race this year, was delighted with the opportunity to stay in the top category.
"Life can change so quickly in just a few months," he said. "At the beginning of this year I had to stay home as my 250cc team retired from the championship and now I have the opportunity to ride with the fastest riders in the world in MotoGP category.
"I also had some really interesting offers from Moto2, but as soon as Paolo Campinoti made me the offer to race for his team I took less than a second to accept. I found myself really well in the races ridden for them this season: I was enthusiastic of their professionalism.
"They work really close with Ducati and they have immediate technical feedback when needed. The bike has impressed me so much for its power and its manageability. I have to thanks Pramac Racing Team, Paolo Campinoti and Ducati for this fantastic opportunity they are giving me."