We can now add Aprilia Racing Team Gresini and Andrea Iannone to the list of riders and factories who have led a race in the 2019 MotoGP™ World Championship, thanks to the Italian’s superb display at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Iannone got a great launch from P8 on the grid to immediately find himself at the spearhead of the race, one which he briefly led before Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) took the lead into Turn 1 – the British rider also fronting a race for the first time in 2019. It was a sign that Aprilia are making steps forward ahead of a crucial 2020 campaign, and it was also a reminder of the talent that is Andrea Iannone.
An 11-time MotoGP™ podium finisher, Iannone’s maiden season on the RS-GP has been largely troubled. Only three tops 10s have come his way, with teammate Aleix Espargaro notching up four as Aprilia struggle to mount regular visits to the top six battle. However, it wasn’t a problem for either Iannone or Espargaro on Sunday at Phillip Island, with the former crossing the line in P6 – less than a second from the rostrum.
Iannone joins Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and the aforementioned Crutchlow to lead a MotoGP™ race in 2019 – yet another reminder of how competitive the premier class is.
Aprilia’s brand-new RS-GP, that'll debut at the Valencia Test, will hopefully give Iannone and Espargaro the ammo to lead races on a regular basis in 2020.