Smith: Iannone could be back tomorrow, ‘after Andreas’ for 2021 seat...

Smith: Iannone could be back tomorrow, ‘after Andreas’ for 2021 seat...
Smith: Iannone could be back tomorrow, ‘after Andreas’ for 2021 seat...
Bradley Smith is present and ready for this weekend’s Aragon MotoGP round, but the slim possibility remains that he could be replaced before tomorrow’s opening practice.

That’s because Andrea Iannone’s appeal against his doping ban took place today at the Sports Arbitration Court.

In the unlikely event that the CAS should make a decision in Iannone’s favor tonight, the Italian could theoretically be back at an RS-GP in time for the first RP, which would be his first track appearance since November.

However, most expect it will take a week for the court to reach its verdict.

Even then, the outcome will range from a complete lifting of the current 18-month ban (which Iannone is seeking for accidentally ingesting the banned steroid drostanolone through contaminated meat) to an extended four-year ban that WADA is pushing for.

“I don’t know if I’ll go tomorrow,” said Smith on Thursday in Aragon. “I haven’t heard anything wherever you have it [the CAS] To meet.

“If something went in Andrea’s favor and it was wrapped up today, he could be here tomorrow morning and ready to go.

“The likelihood of this is low. But next weekend is not a matter of course [for me riding].

“I will prepare to be ready for tomorrow. Everything could change next week and I could go home early. We’ll wait and see what happens. ”

Smith explains that the unknown won’t help anyone and hopes that whatever the outcome, Aprilia will at least be able to make solid plans for the future.

“In relation to the Andrea situation, of course, it plays in my head. But more than anything, it plays on the team’s mind, ”said Smith.

“Knowing what will happen in the future is what the project really needs – to have that stability and focus again, to know what 2021 could be and what it will look like.

“Conversations [at the moment] are always “if this” or “if that” and “maybe”. Once we understand the situation, there are no ifs and maybes. And if and maybe in top sport is a nightmare.

“Trust in everything is an important thing. I think that is what we miss in this team because of these circumstances. In any case, I hope we can sort this out, maybe today or next week I hear is the deadline.

“If we can make plans for the future and what Aprilia will look like, everyone will improve their game on the team and get some stability and a vision for the future again.”

Smith ‘next option’ after the two Andreas

Regarding his own future, Smith made it clear that – instead of settling for automatically returning to the test and wildcard role – he is fighting to fight for the racing seat in 2021.

“It all depends on the circumstances. Right now, I have no interest in being a test rider, I have an interest in being a full-time rider, ”said Smith, a MotoGP podium for Tech3 Yamaha before spending two seasons with the KTM team.

“This year I adapted to the bike as best I can and competed against a guy [team-mate Aleix Espargaro] Who has been cycling for four years and I’m 0.2 miles away.

“I’ll take that and I think things can get better when you consider that I’m still a test driver on the team, developing on race weekends and being able to keep up with Aleix at times.

“My vision is to be here as a full-time driver. Aprilia is definitely also open-minded. ”

Smith believes he is currently the “next option” on Aprilia’s list after Iannone and outgoing Ducati title contender Andrea Dovizioso, which would put him ahead of compatriot Cal Crutchlow.

“At the moment I think that the two Andreas are of course the focus and the main priorities. If it doesn’t, my next option is right there, ”said Smith.

“Continuity is something that we need in this team. We’ve seen it work with other manufacturers, and it’s something Aprilia understands. So let’s see what can happen for the next week or so and go from there. ”

“In the end I will fly”

Assuming he’s on the track tomorrow, Smith, who put Aprilia at the top of the timesheet in the wet opening practice at Le Mans last week, will ride with both belts buckled after a ligament damage from the top of his race.

Like his fall on Friday afternoon, this highlight was due to a “blind spot” in the Aprilia’s traction control electronics.

“Our [traction control] Strategy that does not understand whether or not I am at risk of falling when there are inconsistent conditions during the race like Friday afternoons or wet and changing conditions, “said Smith.

“At the moment we have to bet [the traction control] halfway up to make it average. But [by doing that] it can work too much or too little. Mine usually doesn’t work and I fly.

“It seems like the first touch [of the throttle] Maximal [lean] Store.

“We have to fix this strategy problem in the future, but you can’t replicate it so-so [mixed] and wet conditions and we don’t have a lot of experience, especially with the new bike and engine.

“The guys needed more data. I can’t blame all the guys upstairs. But basically my two falls on Friday afternoon and in the race were related to electronics and I can’t really take responsibility for them. ”

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