Aprilia names three riders for 2021 MotoGP season

Aprilia has named three riders for its 2021 MotoGP line-up, but only Aleix Espargaro remains confirmed while one of Lorenzo Savadori and Bradley Smith will be his teammate.

Aprilia names three riders for 2021 MotoGP season
Listen to this article

Aprilia has been forced into finding a replacement for Andrea Iannone for 2021 when the one-time MotoGP race winner had his doping ban upped to four years earlier this month.

Favourite options in Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow never came to fruition, with the former opting for a sabbatical in 2021 and Crutchlow joining Yamaha as its official test rider.

Aprilia courted Moto2 frontrunner Marco Bezzecchi for next year, but the VR46 team he races for in Moto2 blocked this move.

The marque has confirmed three young riders were offered the opportunity to step up to MotoGP – the other two thought to be Joe Roberts and Fabio Di Giannantonio – but claims they didn’t feel ready to make the jump.

Earlier on Monday the official provisional entry list for the 2021 season revealed Savadori as a race rider alongside the already confirmed Espargaro.

Savadori replaced fellow test rider Smith on the RS-GP for the final three rounds of the season, though Aprilia insisted the latter was still part of the team.

Read Also:

Aprilia has now confirmed both Savadori and Smith will be with it next year and a decision on who will be the second racer and who will remain test rider will be taken after winter testing has concluded.

“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, 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,” CEO Massimo Rivola said.

“We respectfully acknowledge their decision. We prefer to continue with our riders, rather than choosing solutions that are still open but about which we are not entirely convinced.

“Even in the difficult conditions of this season, particularly penalising for a fledgling project, the bike improved greatly and significantly reduced the gaps both in the races and in practice on basically all the circuits.

“Aleix finished on a high note and, even in the race yesterday, was lapping with the same times as the leaders.

“Lorenzo has also shown significant progress in just three races and we know that we can count on Bradley’s professionalism and experience. 

“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.”

Last month three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo confirmed he had an option with Aprilia to be its test rider in 2021, though this link has gone quiet recently.

shares
comments
Miller "closed a few mouths" during Pramac stint
Previous article

Miller "closed a few mouths" during Pramac stint

Next article

How Yamaha's MotoGP engine woes haunted it in Portugal

How Yamaha's MotoGP engine woes haunted it in Portugal
Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother Prime

Luca Marini: Why he's more than just Valentino Rossi's brother

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Motorsport.com – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend.

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Prime

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Prime

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez.

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems Prime

Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character.

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Prime

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Prime

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness.

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Prime

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia.

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022