Andrea Iannone to exit Suzuki at the end of 2018 season
Italian MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone has confirmed his exit from Team Suzuki Ecstar and this will be his last season with Suzuki. For the 2019 and 2020 seasons, the 28 year old Andrea Iannone will race for Aprilia Racing alongside teammate Aleix Espargaró. This gives a boost for Aprilia Racing as they get a more experienced rider in the form of Andrea Iannone to inch closer to the leaders. Andrea Iannone started his racing career astride an Aprilia RS 125 bike in the 125cc championship series from 2005-07. He also raced in the Aprilia RSV 125 and RSA 125 in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 he entered Moto2 championship series where he had consistently finished in third position in all three seasons till 2012. Collectively in 125cc and Moto2 championship series, he has 12 wins and 12 podiums under his belt. He made his MotoGP entry with Energy T.I Pramac Racing astride a Ducati GP13 bike. In 2015, he raced for factory Ducati Team for two seasons, before signing a contract with Suzuki for two more seasons till 2018. His best result came in 2015, where he finished the season in fifth position overall during his stint with Ducati Team. In his MotoGP career, Andrea Iannone has one win (Ducati Team, 2016 season), nine podiums (seven with Ducati Team and two with Suzuki) and two pole positions (Ducati Team, 2015 and 2016 seasons).
Here is the full text of the official press release from Aprilia Racing:
Andrea Iannone will be astride an Aprilia RS-GP for the 2019 and 2020 MotoGP seasons. The Italian rider from Vasto, born in 1989, will ride alongside the already confirmed Aleix Espargaró.
Aprilia fans from all over the world can dream, as Andrea Iannone brings experience, speed and a desire to win at top levels to Aprilia Racing. Together they will tackle a thrilling challenge with every intention of rising to the occasion. The return of an Italian rider to Aprilia is also reason for great pride in the Piaggio Group and it honours the long standing tradition of great champions and unforgettable wins for the manufacturer from Noale which has fostered and raised up almost all the best Italian talent in recent World Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing history.
Aprilia Racing thereby adds an important element of growth to its ambitious project – the youngest in the MotoGP championship – led by a very young but highly expert and talented racing department, the advanced technological diamond head and the expression of a great, all-Italian industrial group. In fact, the Iannone-Espargaró duo represents one of the fastest combinations in MotoGP. They are capable of ensuring great competitiveness and an excellent top shelf technical level in order to further close the gap behind the championship lead. They are expert, fast riders and they have strong ties to a thrilling project that is not only a sports project, but also a technical one, which will contribute to the development of the entire Aprilia range, on the track and on the road.
In MotoGP since 2013, after shining in 125 and Moto2 with a total of 12 wins and 12 podium finishes, Andrea Iannone boasts a trophy collection in the top class that includes one win, 8 podiums and 2 pole positions.
Romano Albesiano – Aprilia Racing Manager: “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.”
Fausto Gresini – Team Manager: “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!”