Iannone poised for Aprilia move after Suzuki exit

Andrea Iannone is set to join the Aprilia MotoGP team in 2019, following official confirmation from Suzuki that it is parting ways with the Italian rider.

Iannone poised for Aprilia move after Suzuki exit
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Scott Redding, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Podium: third place Joan Mir, Marc VDS Moto2

Iannone chose to pre-empt Suzuki's statement ahead of last weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, where he revealed he would be leaving the Hamamatsu marque after 2018.

This followed a troubled 2017 campaign in which the 28-year-old failed to live up to Suzuki's expectations after it signed him to replace Yamaha-bound Maverick Vinales, with an upturn in form early this season coming too late to rescue the association.

Iannone lies seventh in the points after the first six races of the year, having taken back-to-back podium finshes in Austin and Jerez.

"Suzuki Motor Corporation announce that its collaboration with Andrea Iannone will come to an end after the 2018 season," read the statement released by the manufacturer on Friday.

"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."

Iannone will join Aleix Espargaro at Aprilia next season, and will become the Spanish rider's third different teammate in as many years, taking the seat that had belonged to Sam Lowes and then Scott Redding.

Former Marc VDS and Pramac rider Redding's options to remain in MotoGP appear to have run out, with a switch to World Superbikes in 2019 his most likely option.

Suzuki, which has promised to provide an update on Iannone's replacement "in the near future", had initially targeted signing Jorge Lorenzo from Ducati alongside incumbent Alex Rins, but is instead set to call up Moto2 star Joan Mir, with Lorenzo joining Marc Marquez at Honda.

2019 MotoGP grid so far:

TeamRiders
Repsol Honda

 Marc Marquez

 Jorge Lorenzo

Movistar Yamaha

 Valentino Rossi

 Maverick Vinales

Ducati

 Andrea Dovizioso

 Danilo Petrucci

Suzuki

 Alex Rins

 Joan Mir

Aprilia

 Aleix Espargaro

 Andrea Iannone

Red Bull KTM

 Pol Espargaro

 Johann Zarco

LCR Honda

 Cal Crutchlow

TBA

Tech 3 KTM

 Miguel Oliveira

 Hafizh Syahrin

Pramac Ducati

 Francesco Bagnaia

 Jack Miller

Nieto*

TBA

Avintia*

 Xavier Simeon

TBA

Manufacturer uncertain

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