MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso set to test Aprilia RS-GP, Smith returns for Qatar

Published on March 17, 2021
By Short Shift News

In typical Aprilia fashion, their 2021 line up has changed once again, with Lorenzo Savadori apparently dropped by the Italian manufacturer following the Qatar test and welcomes Bradley Smith’s return.

Aprilia was at the centre of silly season discussions as Lorenzo Savadori, and Bradley Smith went head-to-head in a straight battle to see who would line up alongside Aleix Espargaro in the Aprilia garage.

With many expecting the Oxfordshire man to take the ride, Savadori was revealed in Qatar with the 2021 RS-GP machine alongside the Spaniard. However, following a tricky test with a shoulder injury, it seems that Savadori has been dropped ahead of the 2021 season opener and will be replaced by Smith.

But it doesn’t stop there. According to The-Race’s Simon Patterson, Aprilia has set up a three-day test for three-time MotoGP runner up, Andrea Dovizioso. Rumours around Dovizioso and Aprilia have been bubbling for months but could soon very quickly become a reality as the 34-year-old eyes up a MotoGP return after announcing his sabbatical in 2020.

The test will take place in Jerez and will deliver feedback on the RS-GP machine to access where their MotoGP prototype sits in performance compared to the Ducati Dovizioso has ridden in the past.

We won’t see the Italian line up in Qatar, though, as the test is scheduled for April 12-14th, ahead of the third round of the season in Portimao, but it does open the door for a more full-time return to Grand Prix action shortly.

Dovizioso was offered both a race and test contract with Aprilia for 2021 but denied the offer in a search for a more competitive package. However, following Aleix Espargaro’s sensational Qatar Test, in which he finished sixth overall and under half a second off Jack Miller’s unofficial lap record, it seems that the Noale manufacturer has turned heads in the Dovizioso camp.

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