Aprilia Press Release: Andrea Iannone Signs Two-Year Deal With Aprilia

Aprilia issued the following press release, announcing that Andrea Iannone will be joining Aleix Espargaro at Aprilia for the next two years, as had been widely predicted:


ANDREA IANNONE WITH APRILIA FOR THE 2019 AND 2020 SEASONS
ROMANO ALBESIANO: "THIS IS A SIGN OF APRILIA'S INCREASING COMMITMENT TO THE MOTOGP PROJECT"
THIS TAKES THE APRILIA MOTOGP PROJECT INTO ITS SECOND EVOLUTIONARY STAGE, MOVING THE TEAM FROM NOALE TO A NEW AND HIGHER LEVEL, EVER CLOSER TO THE LEADERS

Andrea Iannone will be astride an Aprilia RS-GP for the 2019 and 2020 MotoGPseasons. 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!”

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Comments

Remember how good Aprilia 250s were. ? Until the outrageous costs killed 250cc Grand Prix.

I remember the 2002 "cube" three cylinder 990. The bike Colin Edwards said was " born bad". Wonder why there is no mention of that project?

Good luck Andrea Iannone, you're going to need it. Ask Aleix Espargaro. Boom tinkle tinkle.

Total votes: 67

Too bad, Iannone does deserve better than a crap bike. Shame his carreer has to end this way. At least we won't have to endure Redding anymore.

Total votes: 60

I for one am not pessimistic about this move. I believe it will atract more investment and expertise to the Noale outfit. Like it or not, a very quick Italian rider on an Italian bike is a recipe for investment and success. SBK success and Biaggi rings a bell. Aprilia are clearly behind the curve like KTM right now but I expect both teams with their respective signings are going to have a trickle down effect into some serious results next year. Its last chance saloon for Crazy Joe and I somehow expect he will be a major threat with Aprilia next year. Aleix knows he now has a real quick 'un as a team mate next year and Andrea knows that alongside Aleix who is equally quick, he needs to focus rather than 'hocus pocus' as he did in the past. I see them as a stellar line up for Aprilia and the team and factory will be massively motivated to deliver reliable and competitive kit for them which seemed to be lacking in the past in GP.  Where does this leave Redding and Smith? Out of MGP I guess. If I were Aprilia, I would abandon SBK efforts and throw the kitchen sink into the 19/20 MGP aspiration. In terms of road bikes, Aprilia like MV are a niche market. If they are going to race, go big in the big league or go home.

Total votes: 70

I agree they definitely need to focus on one or the other, because right now they are doing rather poorly in both series. But if I ran a motorcycle company and had to choose, I'd rather do poorly in the series that costs much less! With Ducati seeming to have more problems in WSBK right now, it would be nice for a manufacturer to challenge the Kawasaki hegemony.

Total votes: 32

I feel good about this.

That isn't a bad bike. Iannone can seduce himself whilst disco dancing in his underwear in front of a mirror as long as he keeps up his current form on the bike. The Aprilia handles well and is improving. More power may be on the way, we don't know. Safer bet than the KTM for the immediate term I think. Aprilia has done well to secure a strong rider. Betting he does a bit better than A.Espargaro, and not as well as the 2nd Suzuki. They may offer a surprise at a track of two.

Total votes: 44

Remember when Suzuki re-entered MotoGP and everyone thought their historical lack of financial commitment would prevent them from being a real contender?  Turns out they put in the resources, hired good people and riders with the strong results to show for it.  Listening to the Paddock Pass Podcast #72, David and his collegues spent some time discussing the seriously large team of engineers that Noale has working night and day to achieve their own success.  As in, HRC would be shocked to see what an operation Aprilia has compared to the Japanese behemoth engineering firm.   

With historically tight competition (<1 second covering top 15 in qualifying often) it could be harder than ever to podium but Aprilia seems to be putting their money where their mouth is.  I hope Iannone gels with the Aprilia and makes the greatest show on earth even better.

 

https://motomatters.com/podcast/2018/05/08/paddock_pass_podcast_episode_...

Total votes: 36

This will make an interesting side story for next year.  The Aprilia does not seem to be a bad bike, but its reliability record is the worst of any factory GP bike I can remember (although Suzuki was at times a rolling explosion in the 800 era too).  All of the failures throw all the other 'normal' work on a race weekend into disarray, so if they can sort the engine failures out Andrea might have podium potential when his head is in the right space.

Total votes: 40

He might just have the team to help him become an even faster rider. He won't have to worry about being ousted as he had to at Suzuki. I hope he does well at Aprillia.

Total votes: 35

The Patronas Yamaha team is surely not materializing for next year.  Iannone would be the top of everyones list and would have the ability to take the best offer, and he would surely rather ride a Yamaha than an Aprilia.  What else could have forced this signing?  Was Aprilia considering anyone else over Iannone?

Honda (HRC) / (VDS) is going to do everything to keep Morbidelli under (VDS) contract.  a Factory bike most likely.

Ducati / Abraham-Financial is ensuring the Aspar team does not sell its slots.

Sadly I dont think we will see a 3rd / 4th Yamaha M1 next year.  Strange that its sort of somehow a rule that all teams supply 4 riders.

 

Total votes: 42

If only a haiku could make it so.

Check the arrivals mate.  That train is gone.

Total votes: 30

MotoGP is so full of surprises right now, it seems quite reasonable to speculate that Aprilia might potentially challenge for a few podiums along with Suzuki next year.  No-one anticipated that Tech3 would have potential race winners last season so why not?

Total votes: 33

Isn't it ironic that there is no quote from Iannone in the press release? I guess the Aprilia people do not trust him when it comes to PR...

Total votes: 37

He may not be free to comment, and certainly couldn't be quoted saying what a step up he thinks this is / better bike / harder working team etc at this stage. I guess when he gets his first ride they will cover his reaction to the move.

Total votes: 26

I guess that is not possible/allowed while he is still serving his Suzuki contract. We will only get to hear from him after the Valencia race, I guess. 

Anyway, now that all important contracts for 2019 are done and dusted, we can fortunately go back to focus on the racing and enjoy this season's championship! It's going to be interesting to see what signed contracts are going to do with performances. Some riders tend to be miraculously fast when they threaten to lose their ride, only to see that speed disappear when a contract is in the pocket. Concerning Iannone, on the other hand I can imagine him pushing hard to try and get a win this year, because next year that could be harder to achieve.

But who knows, if Aprilia manages to iron out some flaws, they could be right up there at the sharp end. Just look at how long Ducati has been struggling, and where they are now. Or how bad Suzuki was doing a big part of last year, and how close they are now. Results can change rather quickly when lap times are as close as they are nowadays.

Total votes: 32