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Iannone appeal delay “no issue” in Crutchlow’s Aprilia talks

Iannone appeal delay “no issue” in Crutchlow’s Aprilia talks

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow says Andrea Iannone’s doping ban appeal hearing being delayed to October is “no issue” for him in negotiations with Aprilia over a 2021 MotoGP ride.

Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola revealed on Thursday that Iannone’s appeal hearing to have his 18-month doping ban overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport has been delayed to October 15 upon request from the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Iannone was hit an 18-month ban back in April after he was found to have accidentally ingested a banned steroid during last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

With cases of a similar nature leading to acquittal, Iannone and Aprilia believe the one-time MotoGP race winner should have been handed the same verdict.

Aprilia is standing by Iannone through the process and has repeatedly made its desire to retain him for 2021 plain.

However, in the past few months outgoing LCR rider Crutchlow has been linked to the seat alongside Aleix Espargaro next year.  

When asked on Friday in Austria if Iannone’s case being delayed threw a spanner in the works for his own negotiations with Aprilia, he responded: “No. Doesn’t throw a spanner in the works for me at all.

“I always knew the case was delayed till then. [So there is] no issue [in delaying discussions].”

Ahead of last month’s Spanish Grand Prix, Crutchlow said a move to Aprilia would be a “great deal” for him and believes he could bring a lot to the project.

"I think it's something that would excite me. It's an interesting project,” he said at the time.

"I think to put that bike on the podium and try and do a good job with it and try and develop it even more would be something I'd be very good at with the speed that I have.”

Crutchlow also said he’s “not interested” in moving back to World Superbikes with Honda in 2021.

When asked if there had been any further developments on his future plans during last weekend’s Czech GP weekend, Crutchlow had no updates to give.

The LCR rider was 14th overall at the end of Friday’s running at the Red Bull Ring, with the rain-hit FP2 potentially meaning he faces Q1 on Saturday should FP3 also be wet. 

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Cal Crutchlow , Andrea Iannone
Teams Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Author Lewis Duncan