Italian Lorenzo Savadori will make his MotoGP debut at the European Grand Prix, replacing Bradley Smith who has been acting as Andrea Iannone’s replacement.
Aprilia test rider Bradley Smith will be replaced at Aprilia by Lorenzo Savadori, who joined the Noale firm as a test rider at the start of the 2020 season.
Smith, who has competed in every MotoGP race since the season got underway lies 20th in the MotoGP standings, scoring just 11 points with his biggest haul coming from Jerez for the Andalucian Grand Prix.
Savadori, who was left without a World Superbike ride in 2020, joined the Aprilia camp as their test rider after long-time test rider Smith stepped up as a full-time Grand Prix rider for the first time since he left the championship in 2018.
The 27-year-old Italian made his MotoGP debut at the Sepang test, finishing 30th on the combined timesheets, +4.8s off the pace and has completed tests at Misano and MotoGP’s newest circuit, Portimao.
There is no clear reason as to why Smith has been dropped from the squad, however, it could be a way of Aprilia assessing Savadori should Iannone’s ban continue.
In a statement from Aprilia, Massimo Rivola commented on the 2020 CIV Superbike champion joining the team.
Massimo Rivola, Aprilia Racing CEO“First and foremost, I wish to thank Bradley for his efforts this season. He took one the unexpected role of factory rider with great dignity and outstanding performance, and his contribution was extremely valuable. Now we are excitedly awaiting Lorenzo’s début. This promotion is certainly a reward for his great season as a CIV rider, dominating the Superbike category. But it is also a step of growth for a rider who will be a tester for our RS-GP in 2021 as well. Riding our fledgling project in the race as well will certainly be a step forward for Lorenzo and, therefore, for all of Aprilia Racing.”
Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini“To say I’m happy would be an understatement and I wish to thank Aprilia Racing straight away for this great opportunity. I will be arriving prepared for the event, thanks both to the work done during the tests on the RS-GP and to the CIV season that just ended. It was a challenging Championship that demanded top form and maximum concentration from me. Now I need to reorganise my thoughts, glean from the kilometres I’ve ridden astride the RS-GP and make sure I’m ready and focused for the first practice session.”
Savadori will debut in MotoGP™ astride the Aprilia RS-GP in the Grand Prix of Europe, scheduled to be held in Valencia from 6-8 November.
Featured image: MotoGP.com