Ducati Team rider Andrea Iannone has barely had time to celebrate his first ever MotoGP race win aboard a Ducati, and his team’s first win since the Casey Stoner days before he is back to work less than a week later.
The MotoGP class head to the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic for the eleventh round of the MotoGP season were Iannone is hoping to build on his success from the Austrian GP and continue to dominate on his Desmosedici GP.
Iannone dominated testing on his Ducati
Following on from the German GP, the majority of riders immediately made their way to the Red Bull Ring for two days of testing before they broke for summer. The tenth round at the Red Bull Ring was the first time the MotoGP raced here since 1997. The last winner before Iannone was Mick Doohan and the Italian’s name now gets to join his in the history books.
Iannone dominated the two days of testing as he topped the ‘unofficial’ timesheets aboard his Ducati. The track was well suited to the Ducati which is known for being fast on the straights. Iannone’s form continued onto the weekend of the race meeting with him taking it in turns with teammate Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), and (Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Maverick Vinales on one occasion) at the top of the timesheets during Free Practice.
Iannone claims first Austrian MotoGP win position in 19 years
Despite Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo briefly claiming pole during qualifying, Iannone was to start the first Austrian GP in 19 years at the front of the grid. After a great start he led into the first corner and dominated for the majority of the race. He lost the lead temporarily to Lorenzo, and for several laps to his teammate Dovizioso.
The latter was all part of his strategy. Allowing Dovizioso to lead meant he was temporarily able to conserve fuel, tyres and power and when he regained the lead on his soft front Michelin and medium rear (whereas the other riders chose medium front and hard rear) he was unbeatable and the Italian ‘Maniac’ went on to win.
His win was a way of opening other peoples’ eyes to the talent that he has. His involvement in incidents that have led to crashes this season had people doubting his talent, yet he proved them wrong with his form at the Red Bull Ring. A strong, tactical performance meant he was highly competitive and deserved of a MotoGP win.
Iannone remains focused after first win
Describing his victory as “incredible” Iannone was at the pre-race press conference ahead of the eleventh round of the MotoGP at Brno, less than a week after his winning his first race in the class. He said it is “important to remain focused” when it comes to the “second half of the championship” as he knows there are “some very strong riders”.
Talking about his teammate Dovizioso he spoke of how he feels the Italian will be “pushing hard in the final part of the season” as the Italian said, “So will I”. At the end of the year he and Ducati will part ways as Lorenzo was signed on to join Ducati for two years, and Iannone was the one they chose to alleviate to make room for him.
Although he is hoping to do as well if not better in the championship than Dovizioso, Iannone said he is hoping to “close out our relationship positively”. Iannone’s win takes him to sixth in the championship on 88 points, nine points ahead of Dovizioso in seventh on 79 points. Last year at Brno Iannone qualified and finished in fourth position.