We recently wrote that we'd soon have more information on Iannone's doping case. The news is that the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) has decided the date on which Andrea will have to appear in Mies, Switzerland, before the International Disciplinary Court. The hearing is set for February 4th.
This means that, while Aprilia will be engaged in the last of the three test days reserved for test riders in Sepang, Iannone will be heard in front of the judicial committee to know what the future has in store for him. In a certain sense, February 4th is a hopeful date, in the event that Andrea manages to prove his innocence.
The two analysis carried out by the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) did, in fact, find values higher than the limit allowed, and Andrea will have to prove that he took those substances involuntarily and completely randomly, for example, after having eatein contaminated food.
So, there's a first certain date for Iannone's case, but the hope that everything will work out for the best is still very feeble. First of all, they need to understand when the sentence will arrive after the hearing, because the Court will have 45 days to decide, but it will most certainly arrive at a decision before that. The Motorcycle Federation is not used to doping cases, so this could take a bit longer.
Andrea will, however, get on a plane to Sepang after the hearing. Even if the possibility is slight, the International Disciplinary Court could reach a decision quickly and even acquit the Aprilia rider. In this case, Iannone can still hope to get on the RS-GP between February 7th and 9th, the first test dates for the riders.
But if he were found guilty, it would take even longer. Iannone could appeal to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sports) and, therefore, he'll have to wait for the final court decision.
Aprilia is, of course, preparing for any eventuality They'll have two 2020 RS-GPs available for the tests: one for Aleix Espargarò and the other for Bradley Smith. But Lorenzo Savadori will also be in Sepang. The Italian rider will probably not be involved in the development stage for the new bike, but he'll take advantage of the opportunity to become familiar with the MotoGP, which he tried only on one occasion in Misano a couple of years ago.
If Iannone were to face a long disqualification, which would make him lose races, Smith would take his place, and a test would be required. Savadori is liked in the motorcycling world, but he needs experience in the premier class, and he could gain some in Sepang.