Roberts explains decision to turn down Aprilia MotoGP offer

Roberts explains the decision to reject Aprilia
American rider Joe Roberts turned down an Aprilia MotoGP offer for 2021 because "I want to win" and believes that only Italtrans in Moto2 can give him that opportunity.
Aprilia was forced to look for a replacement for Andrea Iannone in 2021 when the Italian was hit by a four-year doping ban after his hearing in the Sports Arbitration Tribunal to lift an 18-month suspension.
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The outgoing Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow from LCR were connected from the current MotoGP field.
However, Aprilia never considered the former a serious option and will take a sabbatical in 2021, while Crutchlow didn't want to wait for Iannone's decision and decided to return to Yamaha as a test rider.
Aprilia turned to the Moto2 paddock and offered VR46 rider Marco Bezzecchi a deal for 2021 - but Valentino Rossi's own outfit didn't give the Italian the green light to improve.
Roberts became a favorite on the Grand Prix weekend in Portugal. A deal is said to have been announced by the end of Sunday.
But it never came to fruition when Roberts explained his decision to Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this week.
Roberts explains the decision to reject Aprilia
"I liked the call from Aprilia," said the American.
"I know I could have been quick, but I want to win and I, this [Italtrans], am the best team to do that."
"I like the atmosphere, everyone seems like a friend and I don't want to race in MotoGP just because of my passport, but because I deserve it."
Roberts will take the place of Moto2 world champion Enea Bastianini at Italtrans next year. The Italian enters MotoGP with Avintia Ducati.
Aprilia announced on Monday that it would use either one of its test drivers Bradley Smith or Lorenzo Savadori, who will replace Smith on the final three laps of 2020.
Who gets the bid for the racing seat and who stays as a test driver will be determined at the end of the tests before the season.
Had Roberts worked with Aprilia next year, he would be the first full-time American rider in MotoGP since Nick Hayden's last season in 2015.
Next year two riders from the USA will compete in Moto2. Five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier replaces Roberts on the American Racing Team.
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