AMA Superbike champion Ben Spies is to deputise for the injured Loris Capirossi on the factory Suzuki in next weekend's British Grand Prix.
As expected, Capirossi has been ruled out of the event after sustaining a hand injury in a collision with Alex de Angelis at Catalunya.
Spies had been scheduled to join Suzuki as a wild card rider for the Laguna Seca and Indianapolis races, but his MotoGP debut has now been brought forward to Donington Park.
"I was excited that my first GP was to be at Laguna Seca in the States, but I'm now more excited by this!" said Spies.
The 23-year-old American, who has been linked with a full-time MotoGP move for 2009, is keeping his expectations realistic for Donington as he will be lacking both circuit knowledge and experience on the Suzuki GSV-R.
"I think this will be a good thing for me to start out at Donington; it is a track I don't know so I have no pressure," he said.
"I haven't done any testing on the bike or with race and qualifying tyres so I am not really expected to do anything much, so I can just go out there and learn how everything works and enjoy the event.
"This will be good for when we get back to the wildcard races in Laguna and Indianapolis because I know those tracks and I'll have some knowledge of the bike and be able to put my head down and go for it there.
"This is great for me to get the chance, but it is in an unfortunate way that I am there because of the injury to Loris and I wish him all the best on a full recovery. I hope I can represent everybody really good and just want to go out there and have some fun."
Capirossi is optimistic that his broken right hand will be sufficiently healed for him to contest the Assen race a week after the British GP.
"I'm really disappointed not to be racing at Donington as it is the team's home Grand Prix and I know there will be a lot of fans there that have come to see us," he said.
"I tried to get fit and although Dr Costa says the break is healing well, it won't be good for me to race there as it won't be strong enough.
"So I hope to be back for Assen. I wish Ben all the best on his debut, but he shouldn't get too comfortable on my bike because I want it back soon!"
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