Bradley Smith dropped from Aprilia MotoGP line-up for final rounds

Bradley Smith has started his final MotoGP race for Aprilia in 2020 after it announces Lorenzo Savadori will compete in the concluding three rounds 

Bradley Smith has been dropped from Aprilia Racing’s rider line-up for the remainder of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship season, to be replaced by Lorenzo Savadori.

The Briton joined Aprilia at the start of the 2019 season in a development rider role after being dropped by KTM but found himself called up into an unexpected racing role for the 2020 MotoGP season in the wake of Andrea Iannone’s positive drugs test ban.

Though Aprilia has made no secret of the fact it would replace Smith with Iannone if the Italian’s appeal against the suspension is quashed, with that decision set to come no sooner than just before the final round it was expected Smith would see out the season.

However, Aprilia has now confirmed it will instead put Savadori into his seat for the final three rounds to be played out in Valencia and Portimao for what will be his maiden MotoGP appearance.

“First and foremost, I wish to thank Bradley for his efforts this season," said Aprilia racing CEO Massimo Rivaola. "He took one the unexpected role of factory rider with great dignity and outstanding performance, and his contribution was extremely valuable.

"Now we are excitedly awaiting Lorenzo’s début. This promotion is certainly a reward for his great season as a CIV rider, dominating the Superbike category. But it is also a step of growth for a rider who will be a tester for our RS-GP in 2021 as well.

"Riding our fledgling project in the race as well will certainly be a step forward for Lorenzo and, therefore, for all of Aprilia Racing.”

Lorenzo Savadori set for MotoGP debut with Aprilia

Savadori, who joined Aprilia in a development role before the season, has been competing with Aprilia machinery in the CIV Italian series but with that season now over, he is being given a chance to show what he can do on the international stage.

“To say I'm happy would be an understatement and I wish to thank Aprilia Racing straight away for this great opportunity. I will be arriving prepared for the event, thanks both to the work done during the tests on the RS-GP and to the CIV season that just ended.

"It was a challenging Championship that demanded top form and maximum concentration from me. Now I need to reorganise my thoughts, glean from the kilometres I’ve ridden astride the RS-GP and make sure I'm ready and focused for the first practice session.”

These will be Savadori’s first MotoGP starts having competed mostly in WorldSBK, most recently between 2016 and 2018 during which he claimed 17 top six finishes, albeit without finishing on the podium. He was set to return in 2020 with Pedercini Kawasaki before the loss of a sponsor forced him to part ways before beginning a race, instead landing at Aprilia.

He does have some GP experience though, racing in MotoE in 2019.
 

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