BRADLEY Smith is in line for a longer run in MotoGP – if the season can get under way.

The star from Forest Hill is Aprilia’s test rider, but is deputising while teammate Andrea Iannone was accused of an

anti-doping offence.

Governing body the FIM have now ruled the Italian, who tested positive for a steroid at last November’s Malaysian Grand Prix, should serve an 18-month ban, which prevents him from competing until June 2021.

Iannone blamed it on contaminated food and Aprilia are supporting an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

But in the meantime, Smith is due to take his place – once the season comes out of lockdown.

Yesterday the French Grand Prix, originally the sixth round of the season, was postponed due to coronavirus.

It is a frustrating situation for Smith, who is in lockdown in the south of France, but while the legal process with Iannone is ongoing he is due to have the seat.

“It’s how we always left it,” he said. “We have to let it go the full distance.

“Andrea’s been handed the ban, which will be appealed.

“I don’t know what the turnaround is in terms of how long it takes before they can get the case heard.

“I really feel that until that happens I’m the replacement and then once there’s an answer we will sit down together and will know where we are.

“Then it’s either back to being the test rider and competing in MotoE, or sit down and see where I fit in with the Aprilia structure.

“Until it runs its full course there’s a Plan A, B and C.

“The priority from the company’s point of view will be to get Andrea back if it’s possible and I fully respect that.

“I’m the short-term replacement. That’s what was agreed inside Aprilia, in case we start the season.

“It’s a crazy situation which no-one can control.”

The postponement of the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez at the start of May also includes MotoE, where Smith rides for the WithU Motorsport team.

Testing next week, also at Jerez, has been cancelled.

Aprilia’s operation in the north of Italy, one of the worst-affected areas by Covid-19 is shut until the start of May.

With the loss of the race at Le Mans, the next round is the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello on May 31.