Aprilia expects decision on Iannone drug ban this month

Andrea Iannone pic: MotoGP.com

Aprilia expects an outcome on Andrea Iannone’s suspension over alleged steroid use by the end of the month after recent testing of his B sample.

The Italian was provisionally suspended until further notice by the FIM on December 17 after a urine sample taken at November’s Malaysian MotoGP returned a positive result for a banned anabolic steroid.

The B sample was tested on January 7, and while results of the analysis itself could reportedly come as early as this week, Aprilia faces a nervous wait before it finds out Iannone’s fate.

“We hope to have the sentence by January, then we’ll see,” Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola told Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“One account is a possible three-month stop, another six…”

In the event that Iannone is banned for some or all of the 2020 championship, test rider Bradley Smith, who also made four starts as a wildcard for Aprilia last year, is likely to be his replacement.

“Bradley Smith, our test driver, is the most obvious route,” Rivola affirmed.

“At this point there are not many riders ready. Six months ago, perhaps (Jonathan) Rea (Superbike World Champion with Kawasaki) could have been an option.”

Aleix Espargaro is again set to ride Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s other entry this year.

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