Having joined Aprilia for the Sepang tests, the factory has now officially signed Lorenzo Savadori as a MotoGP test rider.

The Italian was called-up during the reshuffle that followed Andrea Iannone's ongoing suspension for a failed doping test.

Iannone's usual winter work has been given to current test and wild-card rider Bradley Smith, who is also pencilled in as a race replacement should Iannone not be able to line-up on the grid in Qatar on March 8.

Savadori was in turn brought in to take on some of Smith's usual work, spending much of the Malaysian tests on a 2019 spec bike as he learned the ropes before a debut on the all-new 2020 machine.

Savadori's best time was 4.8s from Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) and 3.4s from Smith.

'The good outcome of that test and the big job of development that awaits the new bike were the key elements in the decision taken by Aprilia Racing and Lorenzo in launching this collaboration' said an Aprilia statement.

Nonetheless, the news that Savadori has now been signed as an Aprilia test rider suggests the factory does not expect a speedy conclusion to Iannone's case.

“I am truly very happy to continue racing for Aprilia Racing," Savadori said. "The role of MotoGP tester lets me get close to this category, which is the maximum expression of world motorcycle racing. I am honoured and pleased to be part of this project.

"I wish to thank all of Aprilia Racing and everyone who made this opportunity possible. Now I can’t wait to get started!"

Savadori will also race in the CIV Italian Championship for the Nuova M2 Racing team, with which he won races last season:

"The Italian championship will also be at a very high level this season. Along with Nuova M2 Racing, we’ll be working very hard and passionately to hold the new RSV4 Factory 1100 high.”