Sam Lowes and Aprilia to part ways after 2017 says manager
Sam Lowes looks set to lose his seat with Aprilia for the 2018 season according to his manager, who says the team have activated a break clause in the British rider's contract.
Lowes joined Aprilia at the beginning of the current season having stepped up from Moto2, signing a two-year deal, but that included a break clause which allowed the team to cancel the deal after one season.
Lowes has been under pressure to up his form having scored just two points to team-mate Aleix Espargaro's 40.
Whilst the team haven't confirmed anything, Lowes' manager, Roger Burnett, says the two parties will split come the end of the season.
"In the Aprilia agreement, there was a window of opportunity between the 10th and the 15th of August when they could actually issue a notice of termination," he told BT Sport.
"They did that yesterday, so that's official.
"It's not ideal, and it's a shock, and a surprise, because what they expected from a rookie, with a brand new bike, with a team-mate that's going in different directions... I'm not quite sure."
Burnett added that they would be looking at the vacancy at Marc VDS for 2018.
"It's no secret that there is a slot at Marc VDS and I'm very much hoping to enter into discussions over the course of the weekend.
"Sam's position has been taking a GCSE student with loads of potential and put him into an A-level class with no teacher. How are they going to develop?
"It's very difficult from a rider and management perspective. I don't employ anybody in that garage, so I can't call the shots, or explain what needs to be done.
"Strength in management is what is going to be a good thing for Sam, and Michael can provide that, so I'm hopeful that we can enter into a discussion."