After losing his Pramac Ducati seat to Jack Miller, Scott Redding has been officially named as joining Aprilia Gresini for MotoGP 2018.

As reported on Thursday, Redding's deal comes at the expense of rookie countryman Sam Lowes.

Despite being in the first year of a two-year contract, Lowes' future was known to be hanging in the balance since factory boss Romano Albesiano confirmed they were talking to other riders at round seven, in Barcelona.

Albesiano wanted a significant improvement from the former World Supersport champion and Moto2 race winner, who has scored two points this season but also been on lower-spec machinery than team-mate Aleix Espargaro.

Lowes was informed he would be replaced on Thursday night at the Red Bull Ring.

Redding will now return to the team with which he made his MotoGP debut in 2014, when riding Open-class Honda machinery. The former Moto2 title runner-up then joined Marc VDS Honda, while Gresini became the factory Aprilia team.

The #45 took a podium in changable weather at Misano during an otherwise difficult 2015, before swapping the RC213V for a Pramac Ducati. Redding took another third place in the wet at Assen 2016, but is currently 15th in this year's standings (best finish of seventh) on a year-old Desmosedici.

“Scott is a rider who, in spite of his young age, has significant experience in MotoGP. We are pleased to have him join our project and we think that his talent and the continued growth of the RS-GP will allow the team and him to achieving important results," said Romano Albesiano, Aprilia Racing Manager.

"Our bike has grown consistently, race after race. The goal to battle stably in the top ten has been more than achieved. And while further steps in technical development are on their way already this season, with this agreement with Scott, we are preparing for next season.

"Aprilia will be at the starting line with a pair of quality riders that have interesting potential. Aleix is demonstrating more and more that he is a high quality rider and a guarantee for the team. With Scott's contribution, we expect that the team's work will bring Aprilia even closer to the top of the championship, into the positions that such a glorious brand deserves to occupy.

"At the same time, we bid Sam Lowes farewell, certainly thanking him for his commitment and efforts during this, his rookie season in MotoGP, and for the contribution he has made to the team's growth. He is a rider who will doubtless be able to express his talent, but right now we must make choices that allow us to fulfil our commitments to the Piaggio Group and our fans.

"We will continue to work together with the efforts we have always made so that he can have a good season finale and we wish Sam all the best for his career in the future.”

Redding will partner Espargaro next year, while Lowes is yet to confirm his 2018 plans. CLICK HERE to read what Lowes had to say about his Aprilia exit.

Lowes is understood to be one of the riders in contention for the vacant Marc VDS Honda seat.



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