Aleix Espargaro would welcome the arrival of Bradley Smith as an Aprilia test and wild-card rider in 2019.

The struggling Italian factory is among the teams looking to boost its development programme by signing a test rider with proven MotoGP speed and experience.

Espargaro's current team-mate Scott Redding is also in contention for the role, and has been backed by Espargaro, but the Englishman looks to have fallen out of favour with Aprilia management due to his blunt post-Austria comments.

Smith meanwhile currently rides alongside Aleix's younger brother Pol at the factory KTM team and, like countryman Redding, is without a race seat for 2019.

"I talked with Bradley last week and he told me that they were in talks with Aprilia. It was an option," said Aleix Espargaro. "Bradley is a very experienced rider. He rode the Yamaha - especially one of the years - at a very, very good level and now he is working with KTM.

"He has improved a lot the level of their bike and his level, so I think he is a young guy that still has the potential to be a factory rider or to race in MotoGP. But because of how tight everything is in MotoGP he has no space, so to be a test rider I think is more than good."

Smith has ruled out staying on as a KTM test rider next year due to the lack of wild-card opportinities, while Yamaha's new test rider 'won't be English'.

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