Lowes' manager confirms Aprilia split
11 August 2017 – Sam Lowes' manager has confirmed that his rider and Aprilia will part ways at the end of the season, with Scott Redding set to take his place.
Lowes stepped up to MotoGP with Aprilia for 2017, signing a two-year deal, but the team had a clause to cut short the agreement, and opted to activate it on Thursday.
Lowes, under pressure since the early stages of the campaign, sits 24th in the standings, having scored just two points to team-mate Aleix Espargaró's 40.
Although there has been no official word from Aprilia, Roger Burnett, who represents Lowes, made clear – amid speculation – that the two parties will separate.
Lowes' ride is expected to be taken by Redding, after Pramac announced that Jack Miller will partner Danilo Petrucci in 2018.
"In the Aprilia agreement, there was a window of opportunity between the 10th and the 15th of August when they could actually issue a notice of termination," Burnett told BT Sport.
"They did that yesterday, so that's official.
"It's not ideal, and it's a shock, and a surprise, because what they expected from a rookie, with a brand new bike, with a team-mate that's going in different directions... I'm not quite sure."
On the likelihood of Redding taking the spot, Burnett said: "I think that Scott will be in Sam's place, which actually makes it even more strange.
"The investment that Aprilia made in Sam to this point was just, in my opinion, starting to pay off.
"You could say that his results have been below par, but there are actually a raft of reasons for that, and I'm not here to make excuses.
"I do know that Sam has got an amazing potential, we know how [Johann] Zarco and [Jonas] Folger have been, in a proven team (Tech 3) with a proven bike (Yamaha).
"Sam's opportunity has not been amazing, although I can't discredit Aprilia for giving him that opportunity."
Only Marc VDS Honda and Ducati satellite teams Aspar and Avintia have rides available for 2018, and Burnett is showing interest in Michael Bartholemy's outfit.
"It's no secret that there is a slot at Marc VDS and I'm very much hoping to enter into discussions over the course of the weekend," he went on to comment.
"Sam's position has been taking a GCSE student with loads of potential and put him into an A-level class with no teacher. How are they going to develop?
"It's very difficult from a rider and management perspective. I don't employ anybody in that garage, so I can't call the shots, or explain what needs to be done.
"Strength in management is what is going to be a good thing for Sam, and Michael can provide that, so I'm hopeful that we can enter into a discussion."