MotoGP: Aprilia to choose between Bradley Smith, Lorenzo Savadori as replacement for banned rider Andrea Iannone

Briton Smith and Italy's Savadori filled in for Iannone this year after he was suspended for testing positive for an anabolic steroid in November 2019. His ban was recently extended from 18 months to four years.

Agence France-Presse November 23, 2020 21:19:19 IST
MotoGP: Aprilia to choose between Bradley Smith, Lorenzo Savadori as replacement for banned rider Andrea Iannone

File image of Bradley Smith. AFP

Paris: Aprilia will choose between Bradley Smith and Lorenzo Savadori as the replacement for banned MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone next season, the team said Monday.

Briton Smith and Italy's Savadori filled in for Iannone this year after he was suspended for testing positive for an anabolic steroid in November 2019. His ban was recently extended from 18 months to four years.

Aleix Espargaro is the team's only confirmed rider so far while Smith, 29, and the 27-year-old Savadori will compete for the other racing spot.

"Aleix will obviously be our top rider. The roles of second rider and test rider will be decided at the end of the winter test schedule," said Aprilia chief executive Massimo Rivola.

The team had attempted to sign Moto2 riders Marco Bezzecchi, Fabio di Giannantonio and Joe Roberts.

"It's no secret that we offered three young riders an opportunity because we felt that our project could be very interesting for talented young riders," said Rivola.

"But they did not yet feel ready for the leap and, at the same time, the teams that have already signed them for the 2021 season preferred to keep them."

He added: "We prefer to continue with our riders, rather than choosing solutions that are still open but about which we are not entirely convinced."

Smith competed in 11 of 14 races for Aprilia this season but finished no higher than 12th. Savadori took part in the final three without registering a point.

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