Iannone: "I had big problems from the beginning"

The Italian finished outside the top ten in P11 after issues with his Suzuki machine

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) had a difficult Sunday afternoon at the Motul TT Assen, finishing outside the top ten for the first time since his Le Mans crash.

The Italian was hit with a two second penalty at the end of the race, meaning he was demoted to P11 after taking the checkered flag ahead of Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing). On reflection, Iannone lamented problems with the movement of his Suzuki GSX-RR, with the priority firmly on improving race pace.

Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki Ecstar, Motul TT Assen

“It was a really difficult race, from the beginning I had big problems with the movement of the bike, in the last three races I’ve struggled a lot with this problem,” explained the number 29. “In any case, I talk with my engineers and I tried to solve something, we try some solutions but we never give up, I think we have a really good base but it is important we improve the race pace and tyre life - this is the priority.”

Teammate Alex Rins managed to secure his second podium of the season at Assen and with Iannone also standing on the rostrum twice this year, the 13-time Grand Prix winner knows the potential for the Hamamatsu factory machine is clear. “I made a mistake because I was always on the limit, but this is the race, I’m really happy for Alex, he did a really good race and it makes the potential of the bike really clear. We have good potential but on my side, we don’t use it at 100%.”

And what about the new Suzuki engine that was being used in the Netherlands? “The new engine didn’t help my problems,” admitted Iannone. “The problems are all on the electronic side so it’s completely different. Suzuki are working on the bike a lot and for sure it’s important for this Championship.”

The 28-year-old now looks to Round 9 of the Championship in Germany to see if he can challenge for the top six again, something he was set to do at Assen before making a mistake in Sunday’s race. “I don’t know about Germany; my target is to stay close to the top riders. For sure without the mistake I will have been close to the top riders, I wouldn’t have been on the podium but my pace was not far from the second group. This is also the target for the Sachsenring and I hope we can have a better bike.”