Continued uncertainty over Andrea Iannone's appeal against his doping ban, also means Bradley Smith has no idea when his MotoGP season will end.

Both Iannone and WADA have registered appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the FIM's original 18-month ban, the Italian rider seeking to have the punishment annulled while WADA wants it increased to four years.

Iannone's legal team were initially confident the case could be heard by July, potentially meaning the former MotoGP winner would be able to make the start of the delayed 2020 season, if the verdict went in his favour.

But the hearing has now been delayed until mid-October, with the all-important verdict date still unknown. That means Smith, who has been promoted by Aprilia from test to race rider until Iannone can return, is only sure of his future for another month.

"Yeah, it's bizarre… The date that was thrown around [for Iannone's appeal] was October 15. But I didn't know if we'll know [the decision] on that day or if that was the earliest that we'll know," Smith said on the eve of Aprilia's home events at Misano.

"All I know at the moment is I'm basically going until October 15. That's the next four races, which is great for me. So I'm here until Le Mans [October 11]. I think my flights are already booked to Aragon, but there's no guarantee."

The Englishman, a former MotoGP podium finisher for Tech3 Yamaha, has a best result of twelfth so far this season (compared with tenth for team-mate Aleix Espargaro) but hopes to take advantage of data gathered during private testing at the resurfaced Italian track.

"We have to be positive, we're at home, we're racing in Italy and if we can take a little bit of advantage from the five days of testing that we've done here - three real ones – then at least we'll start with the ball rolling," Smith said.

"The scary thing is that the setting we're using now compared to the tests is completely different! So we'll take some information, but not all. At least we have a general idea with the gearbox, the electronics and the engine brake. So that's good."

Smith revealed that the new asphalt means Misano, "literally went from being one of the worst tracks that we had in terms of grip to one of the best.

"It's just got phenomenal grip. So the biggest thing that we needed to change was all the power maps and traction control because suddenly we didn't need it like we had before.

"So we had to change quite a lot during the three days and play around with gearbox, because suddenly we needed shorter to have more acceleration rather than longer and less spin. It's all those type of things."

Smith doesn't expect the change in grip to radically favour one or other manufacturer, with the possible exception of Yamaha

"If you give everyone more grip then it basically comes down to who's got the best acceleration, who's got the best downforce for the wheelie and who has the best engine," Smith said.

"We're not going to see any big surprises this weekend. I think the only ones that we could see a bit more stronger would be Yamaha. I think the extra grip will help them a little. But that's about it to be honest."

One surprising negative of the new surface is the presence of some bumps in three of four corners, which were not felt by the Superbike riders.

"I don't really know why [they are there]. It's strange as well because we were here with Superbike and honestly they couldn't feel them, but on the MotoGP bike you could feel them like crazy. That was quite interesting to understand between the two different bikes."

 

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