Andrea Iannone waits on drug ban decision as Aprilia RS-GP revealed

Andrea Iannone travels to Qatar to pull the wraps off the 2020 Aprilia RS-GP MotoGP contender as he waits on a decision about his drugs ban

Aprilia Racing Andrea Iannone Bradley Smith Aleix Espargaro

Andrea Iannone has made his first public appearance since the revelations about his provisional drugs suspension emerged as he was on hand to pull the wraps off the new Aprilia RS-GP that will be campaigned in the 2020 MotoGP World Championship.

The Italian has been prohibited from testing and racing since December 17 when the FIM provisionally suspended him due to a failed drugs test at the Malaysian MotoGP.

With the B sample also coming back positive, Iannone has taken his case to the International Disciplinary Court to plead a defence that the banned substance Drostanolone was ingested involuntarily through contaminated meat.

For now, a decision remains in their hands but the maximum time to reveal it can take up to 45 days. If this happens Iannone will potentially miss the opening round in Qatar, even if he is cleared.

In the meantime, Iannone travelled to Losail to help Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith take the wraps off the new RS-GP. The machine made its track debut in Sepang and impressed out of the box, with Espargaro hinting the bike is capable of podiums this season.

Indeed, Iannone believes the improvements are in part down to its technical contribution and he is looking forward to experiencing it on track.

“We are both (Aleix) really happy with the bike, Aprilia followed my input so this is really good. Unfortunately, I didn’t ride the bike in Sepang so I am really curious. It is important for me and for Aprilia, so I try to come back fast and strong.

“In any case are very happy at the moment, we are focused on the future and we are completely clear idea this is the most important. We are ready.”

Referencing the ongoing wait for a decision on his future, Iannone says he can’t provide any updates but admits the situation has been ‘really bad’.

“It’s difficult to explain, what I expect is nothing… it is very difficult to explain this situation. This is not my habitat, my habitat is the track. I want to talk abut the bike and not the situation because it is really bad for me. We are looking forward and we hope to come back strong.”