Bezzecchi doesn't get VR46 nod to join Aprilia MotoGP team

Marco Bezzecchi was courted by Aprilia to join its MotoGP team for 2021 as replacement for Andrea Iannone, but the VR46 team didn’t give him the nod to step up.

Bezzecchi doesn't get VR46 nod to join Aprilia MotoGP team

Aprilia has been left with limited options to replace Iannone for the 2021 season, after the Italian was handed a four-year doping ban earlier this month.

The Italian marque had been linked to the likes of outgoing Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso and LCR’s Cal Crutchlow.

But the former didn’t feel the project was right for him at this point in his career, while Crutchlow opted to become Yamaha’s test rider having been unwilling to wait for the verdict on Iannone’s doping case having held discussions with Aprilia since March.

Motorsport.com reported earlier this month Moto2 race winner and Valentino Rossi protege Bezzecchi had emerged as a favourite to take the vacant Aprilia seat.

VR46 team boss Pablo Nieto confirmed to DAZN Aprilia did offer Bezzecchi a deal for 2021, but the VR46 team preferred the Italian to stay put in Moto2.

"The future of Bezzecchi is to stay here, in 2021 he will race with us," Nieto said on DAZN.

"They have tried, we understand that for Aprilia signing him was one of their priorities and they wanted Marco to be there. 

“They have seen that he is one of the riders who is in the best shape in the category and they needed a rider like him. 

"For us, Marco is the spearhead of the [Moto2] project for next year and I even think he wants to stay in Moto2 to fight for the championship next year.”

On Thursday, Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola said its current test rider Bradley Smith was a “valid option” for 2021, despite the marque removing him from the race seat in favour of Lorenzo Savadori for the final three rounds of the season.

Other Moto2 riders including Fabio Di Giannantonio and Aron Canet have been linked to the second Aprilia seat, though it appears American Joe Roberts is amongst the favourites now.

Earlier on Saturday, Rivola confirmed to the MotoGP world feed Roberts was an option despite the American already having a Moto2 contract with Italtrans for next year. 

It is thought a decision on Aprilia’s new rider will be taken before the final race weekend of 2020 is out, with a view to sticking the new signing on the bike at a private Jerez test next week. 

shares
comments
Portimao MotoGP: Miller tops tight FP3 as Mir misses Q2 cut

Previous article

Portimao MotoGP: Miller tops tight FP3 as Mir misses Q2 cut

Next article

Lorenzo hits back at Crutchlow over test rider comments

Lorenzo hits back at Crutchlow over test rider comments
Load comments
Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi Prime

Why Yamaha is about to risk losing Valentino Rossi

With Valentino Rossi’s next career move imminent in MotoGP, it is set to have wide-reaching influences on a number of riders and teams on the grid. But one of the biggest impacts will be felt at Yamaha, with its pivotal role in the saga set to see it lose its appointment with ‘The Doctor’

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Prime

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

MotoGP
Jun 21, 2021
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Prime

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Prime

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021