Andrea Iannone Joins Suzuki Replacing Maverick Vinales

Andrea Iannone with Suzuki in 2017 and 2018 1 photo
The day started quite strongly today, with two big news from MotoGP that put an end to the seemingly infinite speculations. Things seem to have settled early this year in the rider market after Andrea Iannone and Suzuki confirmed their partnership for 2017 and 2018.
Everything rolled quickly, with Suzuki first announcing that Maverick Vinales would not be a part of the team from 2017, followed by Yamaha's brief declaration that spoke about the young Spaniard's contract with Iwata for the upcoming two seasons.

A few moments ago, Suzuki and Iannone's future together became official, with the Italian replacing Vinales aboard one of the two Ecstar GSX-RR machines. Again, the deal eyes having Iannone as a factory rider for 2017 and 2018, and this is a significant detail.

It reveals that all the factory teams have a strong belief in their new riders, as each of the new deals is a classic two-year contract. While this is entirely expectable for the top dogs, seeing even the non-aliens getting the same treatment tells a bit about how much the respective manufacturers trust their moves.

Of course, there may be some clause for a contract foreclosure after a season, like Cal Crutchlow had when he moved at Ducati, but looking at how good the new machines are, we'd rather say that it will not be the case to see one of these riders leaving their new teams because of the bikes.

Funny thing, we reported on Herve Poncharal's thoughts about Iannone and said that the Frenchman seemed to know more than what he's willing to tell. He indicated that Iannone would be better off in the position of the top rider at Suzuki than play the second fiddle in another team, and this is exactly what happened.

2016 may be one of the most frantic years we had in MotoGP in quite a long time, but it looks like what's next is going to be even more thrilling, especially as both Suzuki and Ducati are growing stronger and more competitive.

MotoGP action heads for the iconic and spectacular Mugello circuit this week, so tonight's press conference is definitely a must-see.
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