Andrea Iannone Leaves Suzuki for Aprilia
For a while now, Andrea Iannone has been open about not staying with Suzuki‘s MotoGP team past this season. That is now official, with Suzuki formally announcing Iannone would not return, followed by Aprilia Racing Team Gresini saying it has signed the 28-year-old to a two-year contract.
Iannone joined Suzuki in 2017 after a two-year stint with Ducati Corse and another two seasons with the Pramac Ducati team. In six years in the MotoGP class, Iannone has one win and nine podium finishes. Iannone is currently seventh in the 2018 MotoGP championship chase.
The Vasto, Italy, native will join Aleix Espargaro next season to ride the Aprilia RS-GP. Aprilia has had a tough going since entering the championship in 2015, and the hope is that Iannone will help push its MotoGP project to the next stage of its development.
Iannone’s signing leaves Scott Redding now looking for work next season.
Below are the official statements from both Suzuki and Aprilia.
Begin Press Release:
SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION AND ANDREA IANNONE PART WAYS
Suzuki Motor Corporation announce that its collaboration with Andrea Iannone will come to an end after the 2018 season. Suzuki as a whole would like to wish all the best to Andrea in what is sure to be a bright and successful future.
During two seasons racing together Andrea has played an integral part in the growth of Suzuki’s MotoGP™ project, as well as assisting in the development of our GSX-RR. All of the Suzuki family are incredibly grateful for his help, and for the positive results achieved during the collaboration.
Naturally, with the 2018 season ongoing, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and the Suzuki Motor Corporation will provide their utmost support to the Italian as we continue working together for the remainder of the season, looking forward to achieving strong results in the coming races.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and the Suzuki Motor Corporation are now working on the finalisation of their 2019/2020 rider line-up, and especially in regard to who will partner Alex Rins aboard the Factory GSX-RR. Updates on this will be given in the near future.
ANDREA IANNONE WITH APRILIA FOR THE 2019 AND 2020 SEASONS
ROMANO ALBESIANO: “THIS IS A SIGN OF APRILIA’S INCREASING COMMITMENT TO THE MOTOGP PROJECT”
THIS TAKES THE APRILIA MOTOGP PROJECT INTO ITS SECOND EVOLUTIONARY STAGE, MOVING THE TEAM FROM NOALE TO A NEW AND HIGHER LEVEL, EVER CLOSER TO THE LEADERS
Andrea Iannone will be astride an Aprilia RS-GP for the 2019 and 2020 MotoGP seasons. The Italian rider from Vasto, born in 1989, will ride alongside the already confirmed Aleix Espargaró.
Aprilia fans from all over the world can dream, as Andrea Iannone brings experience, speed and a desire to win at top levels to Aprilia Racing. Together they will tackle a thrilling challenge with every intention of rising to the occasion. The return of an Italian rider to Aprilia is also reason for great pride in the Piaggio Group and it honours the long standing tradition of great champions and unforgettable wins for the manufacturer from Noale which has fostered and raised up almost all the best Italian talent in recent World Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing history.
Aprilia Racing thereby adds an important element of growth to its ambitious project – the youngest in the MotoGP championship – led by a very young but highly expert and talented racing department, the advanced technological diamond head and the expression of a great, all-Italian industrial group. In fact, the Iannone-Espargaró duo represents one of the fastest combinations in MotoGP. They are capable of ensuring great competitiveness and an excellent top shelf technical level in order to further close the gap behind the championship lead. They are expert, fast riders and they have strong ties to a thrilling project that is not only a sports project, but also a technical one, which will contribute to the development of the entire Aprilia range, on the track and on the road.
In MotoGP since 2013, after shining in 125 and Moto2 with a total of 12 wins and 12 podium finishes, Andrea Iannone boasts a trophy collection in the top class that includes one win, 8 podiums and 2 pole positions.
ROMANO ALBESIANO – APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“With Iannone, we have another highly talented and fast rider who is also demonstrating his value this season. His arrival is a sign of the Piaggio Group and Aprilia’s growing commitment to the MotoGP programme, where our bike has already demonstrated that it can rely on a valid technical base. Now we need to stay focused on the 2018 season, beginning from the next GP of Barcelona. We have a strong team that has never stopped working hard. We want to keep growing and take the RS-GP where it deserves to be this season, which is still long, with Aleix and Scott, speaking of whom, I wish to thank publicly for his great professionalism and for his consistently high level of commitment.”
FAUSTO GRESINI – TEAM MANAGER
“The combination of Iannone and Aprilia will be fantastic – one of the most interesting in MotoGP – and it has the potential to bring great results. Andrea is a strong, fast and concrete rider. I think that he will be able to provide great support for the team and contribute to the development of the bike. And then, there is no denying that it is always a pleasure to have an Italian rider on an Italian bike Welcome, Andrea. Let’s have fun!”