Aprilia MotoGP team talking to potential Sam Lowes replacements

Aprilia is talking to other riders about replacing the contracted Sam Lowes in 2018, if the MotoGP rookie cannot "quickly show some improvement", racing manager Romano Albesiano admits

Aprilia MotoGP team talking to potential Sam Lowes replacements

Lowes graduated to MotoGP in 2017 after three seasons in Moto2, having won a pair of races in the class with Gresini - which runs Aprilia's programme - last year.

Contracted through until the end of 2018, Lowes is 24th in the points after seven races with a best finish of 14th at Le Mans, and a best qualifying position of 20th at Austin.

The Briton is confident that he is making progress, and spoke out about feeling a lack of respect in the team during the Catalunya Grand Prix weekend, after reports Aprilia could replace him emerged.

Albesiano said Aprilia was keeping its options open, but its priority was to see more from Lowes.

"It's very clear, we made a big investment with Sam," he said.

"As his first supporter, we really hope that he can quickly show some improvement.

"But at the same time we have to prepare next season in case this will not happen.

"So we are talking with some other riders because of this."

Asked what was expected from Lowes, Albesiano replied: "To show improvement. To show to ride at the right point quite soon."

He added that there was no "clear deadline" on making a decision, with Andrea Iannone linked to a move just seven races into his two-year deal with Suzuki.

Iannone joined the Suzuki from Ducati to replace Maverick Vinales, but is 15th in the championship having scored in only three of the seven races.

"For us what really matters is the performance of the riders," Albesiano said.

"So if he's Italian it's OK but if he's from Singapore it's good as well."

ESPARGARO 'VERY ANGRY' ABOUT LOWES SPECULATION

Aleix Espargaro was signed by Aprilia from Suzuki to lead its programme in 2017, but his pace has been tempered by errors and mechanical problems.

Having spoken publicly in support of his rookie team-mate previously, Espargaro said he is unhappy with speculation about Lowes's future, so early into the season.

"I read something about my team-mate for next year, I was very angry," he said.

"It's race five or race six and I think we need to have more respect for a rider that last season won races [in Moto2].

"We cannot forget these things in just fucking three months.

"We need to have more respect, we need to give more time to Sam - he's a talented rider.

"If we arrive in Valencia and his results are still not competitive, you can think about something, but not in June."

shares
comments
Cal Crutchlow gets new Honda MotoGP deal for 2018, stays at LCR

Previous article

Cal Crutchlow gets new Honda MotoGP deal for 2018, stays at LCR

Next article

Ducati MotoGP boss admits wins were 'unthinkable' a few months ago

Ducati MotoGP boss admits wins were 'unthinkable' a few months ago
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Alex Lowes , Sam Lowes
Teams AB Motoracing , Aprilia Racing Team
Author Oriol Puigdemont
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Plus

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021