World Superbikes rider and MotoGP test rider Lorenzo Savadori will replace Bradley Smith at the factory Aprilia team for the final three rounds of the MotoGP World Championship.
Smith joined Aprilia for 2019 as a test rider, after losing his KTM seat, and has so far competed in every round of 2020 while regular racer Andrea Iannone contests a doping ban.
But on Tuesday Aprilia announced that Savadori will take Smith’s place for the Valencia double-header and Portimao finale.
“First and foremost, I wish to thank Bradley for his efforts this season,” said Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola. “He took on the unexpected role of factory rider with great dignity and outstanding performance.
“His contribution was extremely valuable. Now we are excitedly awaiting Lorenzo’s debut. 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”, Rivola said.
Savadori, 27, will link up with Aprilia for next weekend’s European Grand Prix at Valencia.
“To say I’m happy with would be an understatement and I wish to thank Aprilia Racing straight away for this great opportunity,” he said.
“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.”