Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) will join Aprilia Racing Team Gresini on a two-year contract at the end of the season, seeing him partner Aleix Espargaro at the Italian factory in 2019 and 2020 after Suzuki announced they would part ways with the Italian.
A race winner with Ducati, Iannone has consolidated himself as a consistent MotoGP™ frontrunner after his good start to the 2018 season. The Italian secured two consecutive podiums in Austin and Jerez, taking his overall premier class podium tally to nine, as well as finishing fourth on home soil at Mugello last time out.
Now though, the 28-year-old will join forces with Aprilia as he and Espargaro look take the RS-GP to the next level in its development.
Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager commented: “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.”
Team Manager Fausto Gresini added: “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!”
This news means British rider Scott Redding will leave Aprilia at the end of 2018 after just one year with the team.