Riccardo Russo has replaced Alex de Angelis in the Pedercini Racing SC-Project Kawasaki squad for the remainder of the 2017 World Superbike championship.
Russo split with Guandalini Racing Yamaha after the Misano round in June, with Jakub Smrz stepping in as replacement for the Laguna Seca round, but the Italian rider has secured a quick return the World Superbike paddock with former squad Pedercini Kawasaki.
The Italian squad has decided to drop de Angelis after an underwhelming 2017 season sitting 17th in the riders’ championship with his best result of 11th place coming three separate occasions. As a result, Russo steps up for Pedercini Kawasaki having briefly raced for the team in 2014 in the World Superbike championship.
The 24-year-old has secured a deal to race for Pedercini Kawasaki until the end of the season and is relishing the opportunity to be competitive over the final five rounds of the campaign.
“I’m very happy I found a new and important opportunity to show what I can do with a competitive bike as the one of Team Racing SC-Project,” Russo said. “I want to thank everybody for believing in me, a special thank to Lucio Pedercini, the whole Team and Sergio Giordano that allowed me to have this great opportunity. I will do my best to be competitive from the start.”
Team manager Pedercini has welcomed Russo back to his squad with open arms but accepts a difficult challenge to get the Italian competitive immediately with Russo’s first outing on the ZX-10RR coming in the opening free practice session of the German round next weekend.
“After the resolution of the contract with Alex, I spoke with Riccardo, who in my opinion is a full character rider,” Pedercini said. “He has grown professionally, with the desire of doing well and is willing to get out there and put himself into the hands of the team.
“The whole team will start working together with the rider straight away before Germany, where Riccardo will race for the first time on the Kawasaki ZX10RR. I’m sure everybody will do their best.”