Pramac And Pernat Deny Canepa Switch

Confusion reigns in MotoGP, and not just about the future of Kawasaki. On Wednesday, reports emerged from Spain that Niccolo Canepa would switch from the Pramac Ducati team to the Team Grupo Francisco Hernando (the Onde 2000 team), a move made necessary by Alice's withdrawal as title sponsor for the Pramac team. But today, both Carlo Pernat, Canepa's manager, and Paolo Campinoti denied that any such more had been agreed.

Pernat, who manages Loris Capirossi as well as Niccolo Canepa, was the most emphatic when asked about the rumors by the Italian press agency Mediaset: "It's a hoax," Pernat said. "Canepa is staying at Pramac. The Spanish reports saying he will be going to join the Nieto brothers are completely baseless. I spoke to (Paolo) Campinoti, the team manager, and he confirmed that Canepa will be riding with Pramac."

Pramac manager was equally firm, but his choice of words left a little more room for maneuver: "I can confirm that there will be two Ducati-Pramacs on the track next year," Campinoti told "But it's true that we lost our title sponsor Alice, and we are busy looking for a replacement. This could lead to a situation where the two riders, Canepa and Kallio, race in different liveries, while remaining under contract to Pramac."

When asked by about the possibility of Canepa moving to the Onde 2000 team, Campinoti again left some room for doubt. "Not in the sense that he will remain with the Pramac team. At the moment, nothing has been fixed, except that we will have two riders. We could have a single pit box with different sponsors, or two separate garages, but honestly, we haven't even discussed this yet."

Though at first sight, the words of Pernat and Campinoti suggest that Canepa will not be joining Sete Gibernau at Onde 2000, Campinoti seems to be leaving himself some negotiating room with Francisco Hernando, the man behind the Onde 2000 team. This could see Canepa running the same colors as Gibernau, whilst remaining in the Pramac garage. But given the ambitions of the Spanish property tycoon, he is unlikely to want to relinquish control of the situation.



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