After qualifying on pole at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, this is what 2018 World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had to say regarding Sunday’s race: “I’m very equal on the race pace with the others. There is just one rider that is faster than everybody: Iannone.”
Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) topped Free Practice and then went over half a second faster than the rest of the field when testing race settings in FP4. So, can the Italian keep up his blistering speed to win on Sunday? Well, after being disappointed with a P4 in qualifying, Iannone admits he has good pace for the race.
“The conditions in qualifying were really bad, so it was really difficult,” began the Suzuki rider. “I’m not very happy because I had a better chance and better performance and it could have been possible to challenge for pole. Unfortunately, it’s like this.
“In any case, we have good pace for the race. The bike is really good. We’ve worked well during the weekend. But I’m disappointed for qualifying, though it wasn’t possible to control the weather.”
The number 29 rider also admits that he expects plenty of riders to be fast - in particular, Marquez, Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and teammate Alex Rins – but if he can manage his tyres well, he confirms that he is a little stronger than his competition:
“Everybody is really fast so, tomorrow, in Warm Up the top riders will improve a little bit. We’ll be there, we’ll try to improve but we’ll be arriving on the limit. The most important thing is to control the tyres during the race because the last five laps are really important, so we have to arrive with the tyre in good condition. There’ll be a good battle with Marc, Viñales, Rins will stay with us, so, in any case, it’ll be a strong race but I’m a little bit stronger.”
Can Iannone assert supremacy on the Island?