Breaking up with Suzuki before he could be dumped, Andrea Iannone has already made it clear that he would not be returning to the ECSTAR Suzuki team for the 2019 MotoGP Championship season, but now the break up is official.
Issuing a press release today, Suzuki Motor Corporation announced that the Japanese factory and the Italian rider would not be collaborating further, into 2019.
Though Suzuki won’t mention it, it is widely held that Joan Mir will be taking Iannone’s seat at ECSTAR Suzuki, and as such he will partner Alex Rins inside the factory team next year.
In its press release, Suzuki thanked Iannone for his help and positive results during their time together, but the reality is that Iannone never gelled with the team, with considerable friction existing between him and the Suzuki squad.
Mercurial both in his off-track behavior and with his on-track results, Iannone’s natural talent certainly can’t be questioned, but his personal dicipline has been an issue in virtually every team he has worked with.
When he is on form, and pushing hard, Iannone can be the fastest man on the track, but coaxing that talent can prove to be more than challenging for team managers, and it seems to exist only when Iannone wills it to.
Add into the mix the chaos that Iannone and his entourage bring into the paddock, along with his off-track behavior (namely on social media), and the Italian makes a good argument for why he should lose a factory ride.
As such, there are few people in the MotoGP paddock that are surprised to see Iannone and Suzuki parting ways.
Likely to head to the Aprilia Racing team for next season, it will be interesting to see if the Italian manufacturer has anymore luck with Andrea Iannone.
Iannone to Aprilia seems like an poor fit, to our eyes, since one of Iannone’s biggest issues throughout his MotoGP career was his unwillingness in doing development work for his employers.
With the Aprilia RS-GP still an imperfect machine, and Aprilia in need of a fast rider who can give valuable feedback, Andrea Iannone seems like one of the names lower on the list of desirables who are capable of such a role. Of course, price may be a consideration.
With Iannone’s value in the MotoGP paddock surely dropping with each passing season, it is likely that Aprilia can snag Iannone for a bargain price, which might be enough of a trade-off to make Aprilia forget its similar mistake with Marco Melandri.
As we are fond of saying, only time will tell.
Source: Suzuki Racing; Photo: © 2017 Scott Jones / Photo.GP – All Rights Reserved