Iannone: “It’s a really good weekend for us”

A best result of the season in P2 for the Italian caps off an impressive Australian GP

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was looking like he was the man to beat after Free Practice at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, but the Italian would eventually have to settle for P2 on Sunday.

Nonetheless, this was his best result of the season on board the GSX-RR after three previous P3 finishes: “It’s a really good weekend for us. We worked really well,” commented the Italian. “In every practice were strong from the start to the finish. During the race we tried to give something more but it was really difficult. I fought a lot. I overtook a lot. They overtook me. It was a really big fight.”

If it wasn’t for a couple of mistakes at Turn 4, we could well have seen ‘The Maniac’ challenge runaway winner Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Instead, a raging battle between himself and the two Ducatis for second would unravel. A battle that, in Iannone’s view, cost him valuable time with the Desmosedici proving too quick for the Suzuki down the Gardner straight:

“When I tried to recover the gap with Maverick, I was fighting with both Ducatis; Dovizioso and Bautista, when I overtook and we arrived on the straight, both bikes overtook me again, so I lost a lot of time. Arriving in second position is great for us. Step by step, we’ll try to improve for the last races.”

Iannone reiterates that he feels he had the pace to fight for the win with Viñales. And looking at race pace times in Free Practice, it’s hard to argue. But did the Suzuki’s lack of straight line grunt cost the Italian in the end?

“I had a strong potential to fight for the win. With Maverick I had the potential to fight,” affirms Iannone. “He overtook and had two or three laps to push his pace. For me it was difficult because I overtook but on the straight everyone overtook me, so I had to start all over again. I felt the tyres start to drop because I was pushing a lot, so I decided to remain constant and save my rear tyre.”

With the Suzuki’s on song – three podiums in the last four races and seven in total for the season – can Iannone grab a win in Malaysia or Valencia to round off a great season before moving to Aprilia machinery?  

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