MotoGP: Iannone’s Suzuki departure opens door for Mir

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Andrea Iannone has confirmed that he’s leaving the Suzuki MotoGP team at the end of the 2018 season, opening the door for Joan Mir to join the Japanese manufacturer in his place.

The Italian confirmed today at Mugello that he won’t be with the firm next year, looking instead at other factory options and linked closely to a move to Aprilia for 2019.

“For sure I will not remain with Suzuki – I will switch to another bike and another manufacturer. I don’t want to talk about my future too much because it’s heavy on me right now. Suzuki talked with me about my future only after the Barcelona test, and in any case it’s sure now that I’ll not remain with them.”

While Jorge Lorenzo initially looked to be Suzuki-bound, that option seems to have disappeared thanks to reigning Moto3 world champion Mir’s aspirations to move up to the premier class after only one season in Moto2. Rumoured to have a pre-contract with the Repsol Honda team to replace Dani Pedrosa alongside Marc Marquez, it seems that he’s now decided to instead attempt to replicate the success of Maverick Viñales by making the move to Suzuki.

That also seems to fit with Suzuki’s aims, with the Japanese firm looking to move away from big-name riders after a difficult season and a half with Andrea Iannone helming their project. Instead, the Hamamatsu firm are instead keen to cultivate young talent to title success a route that’s worked out well for them with both Viñales and Alex Rins.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer