Andrea Iannone has been signed by the Aprilia MotoGP team as replacing Brit Scott Redding for the 2019 season, joining the Italian manufacturer on a two-year deal and confirming weeks of paddock speculation linking him to the seat.
Coming off a difficult season at Suzuki to join Aleix Espargaró, Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano says that the signing of their highest-profile rider yet is proof of how the factory’s plans are growing.
"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.”
The news leaves Scott Redding out of a ride and potentially out of the premier class for next year, however. He’s had a difficult start to the Aprilia seat he inherited from Sam Lowes at the start of the season, and with limited options left on the grid for next year he could now be left out in the cold.