Smith to replace Iannone while doping ban lasts

Bradley Smith will replace Andrea Iannone for as long as he is under suspension for a doping violation, Aprilia has confirmed to Motorsport.com.

Smith to replace Iannone while doping ban lasts

One-time MotoGP race winner Iannone was hit with an 18-month ban in March after an illegal steroid was found in his system following a drugs test during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

Suspended by the FIM while this underwent legal proceedings, Iannone was handed an 18-month ban dating back to October when the violation was first flagged – though was deemed to have ingested the substance accidentally.

Iannone has submitted an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) to have this ban overturned, citing past precedent of similar cases from other athletes.

However, the World Anti-Doping Agency has also submitted a request to have Iannone's punishment extended to a four-year ban.

The case is currently under review, though Aprilia – at least publicly – is sticking by Iannone through the process.

Smith joined Aprilia last year as its test rider after losing his place at the works KTM squad at the end of 2018, and contested four races – the Qatar, Spanish, Catalan and Aragon Grands Prix.

His best result came at Jerez, where he finished 17th, while he crashed out of the Qatar and Catalan events – the latter after a collision with his teammate Aleix Espargaro.

Smith has been carrying out testing duties for Aprilia over the winter, as has been in action at Misano earlier in the month for a private test.

Read Also:

The Briton is currently riding at the circuit along with Espargaro as part of a group private test organised by Ducati, with Suzuki's test team and KTM also present.

While it is yet to confirm this, Smith will almost certainly line up on the grid for the season-opening Spanish GP at Jerez on 19 July and the following week's GP of Andalusia at the same circuit.

Depending on how long Iannone's case drags on for, and indeed if his ban is not overturned, Smith could well find himself contesting the entire provisional 13-round 2020 championship.

 

shares
comments
Rossi "more beatable" the longer he stays in MotoGP - Stoner

Previous article

Rossi "more beatable" the longer he stays in MotoGP - Stoner

Next article

Petrucci joins Tech 3 as Oliveira secures KTM promotion

Petrucci joins Tech 3 as Oliveira secures KTM promotion
Load comments
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021