The MotoGP team Ducati have selected Andrea Dovizioso to replace fellow Italian rider Valentino Rossi for the next two seasons.
The 26-year-old Dovizioso will join team mate Nicky Hayden at Ducati until 2014 after seven-time MotoGP world champion Rossi opted to switch back to Yamaha next season.
As preparations begin for this weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix, Ducati also revealed Hayden will remain off-track after the American injured his right hand during a qualifying crash at Indianapolis last weekend.
It is expected Hayden will return to action at the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano mid next month.
Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo leads the MotoGP championship by 18 points ahead of countryman Dani Pedrosa and Australian Casey Stoner.