Aprilia have confirmed they are talking to other riders for the 2018 season as Sam Lowes’ seat comes under threat.

The Briton has had a tough start to his MotoGP career. Just this weekend he complained about the Aprilia’s reliability issues and acknowledged that he needs to improve.

Lowes is contracted to ride for the Italian outfit for next season. However, after a run of poor performances, Aprilia might be considering replacing the former World Supersport champion.

When asked about Lowes’ future, Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano said “We made a big investment with Sam. We are his first supporters and really hope he can quickly show some improvement. But at the same time, we have to prepare next season in case this will not happen. So we are talking with some other riders because of this.”

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To keep his seat, Lowes will apparently have to “Show improvement” in the near future.

The main candidate for Lowes’ seat is rumoured to be Andrea Iannone. The 27-year-old has struggled on the Suzuki and would put an Italian rider on the Aprilia. However, Albesiano admitted that “For us what really matters is the performance of the riders. If he’s Italian it’s okay, but if he’s from Singapore it’s good anyway.”