Andrea Iannone will be officially announced as joining the Suzuki factory team for 2017 ahead of this weekend's Italian MotoGP following the confirmation he won't be retained by Ducati.
With three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo making the high-profile switch from Yamaha to Ducati at the end of the year, the Italian manufacturer confirmed earlier this week it has chosen Andrea Dovizioso over Iannone to partner him on a two-year extension.
As a result, Iannone will head to Suzuki in 2017 to replace Maverick Vinales, who will join Valentino Rossi at Yamaha.
Sources revealed to Crash.net
the deal will be announced ahead of Iannone's home round at Mugello, tomorrow, with Vinales' confirmation set to follow promptly afterwards.
Iannone's move to Suzuki comes in the wake of a Ducati snub that caught many by surprise. Indeed, though it was known one of the riders would need to make way for the incoming Lorenzo, many felt the younger Iannone was the favourite over Dovizioso to be retained by the team in the wake of a breakthrough campaign in 2015 that yielded three podiums and fifth in the overall standings.
However, the 26 year-old has endured a troubled start to the 2016 season, with three self-inflicted DNFs in the opening five races leaving management frustrated, most notably his crash in Argentina when an over-ambitious final corner lunge eliminated both himself and Dovizioso out of podium positions.
Nevertheless, he heads to a Suzuki team that has emerged as a formidable contender in 2016 in the hands of Vinales and Espargaro, notching up seven top six results between them. Having returned to MotoGP in 2015 after a four-year absence, Vinales scored Suzuki's first podium result since 2008 last time out at Le Mans.