Full credit is deserved for Ducati Team rider Andrea Iannone who was in a way overlooked at what he achieved at the Assen GP. Following from the Barcelona GP where he was involved in a racing incident with current MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha), the Italian was penalised and had to start the race from the back of the grid.
Iannone on the pace all weekend
Now Iannone was incredibly strong throughout the weekend. It was as if he had extra determination as a result of his penalty, maybe even a point to prove. He was fastest in FP1, fastest in FP2, ninth in FP3, sixth in FP4, and ninth in qualifying; qualifying was insignificant though as it did not count either way. He found his form again before the race and also clocked the quickest time during the morning warm-up session.
Amazing start to the race for Iannone
Race day and ‘The Maniac’ was straight on it when the lights went out. He made a fantastic lunge through the field of riders to gain many places, he continued to work his way through them up to fifth, but then unfortunately suffered a fall; luckily it was just before the red flag was produced because of the thunderstorm that hit and this meant that he had time to return to the pits and was able to restart with the rest of the riders for the now twelve lap race.
Because of his fall, he was practically starting at the back of the grid again; this time in seventeenth place. Having to treat the previous race start as a practice, he used the experience gained from that one to make another fantastic start and then again continued plucking the riders off one by one.
Overall amazing result for the Italian in those conditions
Iannone stayed out of trouble this weekend, he pushed and it paid off. He finished fifth and claimed 11 championship points as a result of his gallant efforts; all in torrential rain! The Ducatis seemed to be going very strong out there with at least five pushing for the lead.
Iannone felt that the ninth round at the Motul TT Circuit Assen had been a “positive weekend” for him and his team. He knew that in dry conditions they “were always competitive” and he felt that they “had a good chance of finishing the weekend well despite the rain”, and of course his penalty.
Even the penalty could not stop him
The Italian Ducati rider who recently signed a contract that with Team Suzuki Ecstar said how, "In MotoGP it's never easy to recover the back," however reflecting on the day's events he felt "pleased" with both of his stars. He mentioned how during race one he was eleventh after the opening lap and had progresed to sixth shortly after, he thought that had he started "a few rows up" that he could have possibly, "fought for the podium".
Reflecting on the second race he felt he, "managed to recover well" from starting seventeenth on the grid and seemed happy to cross the line in fifth place.
Iannone focused on a decent finish
There was no mention of his tyres, no mention of the rain... that man was out to make up for the positions lost through gaining his penalty. He made a significant effort in that race, bravely took on the rain with determination to progress and deserves to be admired for his efforts; as do all of the other riders who raced and especially those who pushed for a better position in the race. A lot of bad press has surrounded the Italian who has proved this weekend what he can be capable of, previous incidents aside.
Iannone finished by saying, "In the end today's result was quite positive for us and we managed to bring home some important points."The 11 points he salvaged from a result that could have been written off means he is now in eighth place in the championship with 52 points.