As the end of the season approaches, the punishment which the riders have taken is starting to take its toll. With several riders out or moved, replacements are being sought to complete the season, or at least fill in for the next race.
In the MotoGP class, the knock on effect of Ben Spies' extended absence means that a vacancy arose at the PBM team. With Michele Pirro unable to race in the overseas triple header, dedicating himself to testing for the remainder of the year, Yonny Hernandez has been moved to the Ignite Pramac squad for the last five races of the year, as was announced after the Misano test. That meant that Hernandez' spot at PBM needed filling, preferably by a rider with some kind of Grand Prix experience. That rider has now been found, and Damian Cudlin is to take the place of Hernandez at the next round of MotoGP at Aragon. Whether Cudlin will continue at PBM after Aragon is yet to be determined. Cudlin has GP experience, having replaced Hector Barbera in 2011 at Motegi and Phillip Island. He has also raced both as a wildcard and as a replacement rider in Moto2.
Luca Scassa will also be making an appearance as a replacement rider. The Italian will be taking the place of the injured Karel Abraham at Cardion AB, initially for the Aragon race. Depending on Scassa's performance, the Italian could replace Abraham for the remainder of the season. Scassa has had a checkered career, having raced in World Supersport, World Superbike and the AMA. His best season came in 2011, when he challenged Chaz Davies for the WSS title for much of the year.
There is also a replacement in the World Superbike series. WSBK regular and current WSS rider David Salom will be taking the place of Loris Baz in the Kawasaki Racing Team for this weekend's Laguna Seca round of WSBK, racing alongside Tom Sykes. Salom is not the only replacement rider at Laguna Seca: Michel Fabrizio will continue to replace the injured Jonathan Rea at Pata Honda, and Blake Young is in for Leon Camier at the Fixi Crescent Suzuki team.
The WSBK grid will be boosted at Laguna Seca, with Roger Hayden and Danny Eslick entered to compete as wild cards. The Jordan Motorsports team entered the two men for the World Superbike round, citing a lack of TV coverage of the AMA series, which is also racing on the same weekend, as the reason for choosing WSBK over the AMA series they normally compete in, according to a report on the Roadracing World website.
Below is the press release from Cardion AB announcing Scassa to replace Abraham:
Italian WSS rider Luca Scassa to replace injured Karel Abraham
The Italian rider Luca Scassa will replace Karel Abraham in the Czech Cardion AB Motoracing team in the next round of MotoGP in Aragon. Until now Scassa competed in WSS championship for the Czech team Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpress.
Karel Abraham, manager Cardion AB Motoracing
„Luca has ridden more then fifty races in WSBK and he has enough experiences to run on the MotoGP bike and to jump to the championship. It was important for us to find a rider, who can manage so specific machine as the Motogp bike is and who knows the circuits where next five races will take place. The first race waiting for us is next weekend in Aragon, where Luca achieved this year´s best result in WSS. Our aim is to get Luca feel comfortable with the bike and try to improve the lap time step by step during the weekend. Then we will decide if we will continue together also in remaining races.“
Luca Scassa – profile of the rider
Freshly thirty years old rider started his career in 1999. He became the 2003 champion in Superstock 600 class in very well occupied Italian Championship. Next year he changed to the Superstock class. In 2007 he began a "superbike" era in American AMA Championship and he raced in the World Superbike Championship in 2009 and 2010, the first season for Kawasaki and the other for Ducati. He did his best 7th position twice, finished 27th overall, respectively 17th. Luca returned to WSS in 2011 winning first two races of the season. After a series of problems he ended the championship on the fifth place with three wins and four podium finishes. After one year in BSB Luca turned back to WSS, joining Czech team Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpress. He stays on 6th overall position with 74 points two races before the end of the season