Iannone: a dark horse for the win?

It may have been a second row start by the end of Q2, but the ‘Maniac’ has some serious pace

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was the fastest man at Mugello on Friday, and although the Italian had a qualifying session that sees him starting second, the former polesitter at the venue has some serious pace in his pocket. After two podiums already this year, could the ‘Maniac’ be a dark horse for the win?

Starting just behind Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) won’t make it an easy task – and neither will the likes of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who will be gunning for the Italian from the rear. But Iannone was the only man to put in a run of mid 1:47s in FP4, and although on a slightly softer tyre than some of his contemporaries, that bodes well for race day…

“I made a mistake in T1 with both tyres and I struggled a lot so in this sector with both tyres. I lost two tenths…maybe two tenths and a half…my ideal time is 46.1 and I stayed on the top but in any case I start tomorrow from the second row,” explains Iannone of the could-have-been. “So, I’m not really happy because I’ve been on the first row a lot! But in any case we are competitive, we have really good pace for tomorrow and I hope it’s a good race for us. For sure it’s really difficult because on the straight we lose a little bit on the top speed and we have many Ducatis behind, and also the Yamaha in front is fast, but in any case we’ll try our best.”

Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki Ecstar, Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley

And one thing urging him on? The home fans, with the Mugello crowd one of the most impressive on the calendar.

“This weekend I think I have a really good energy from the people, from the fans that are here in Italy. It’s always a special place for me and I have a good memories in MotoGP. For two years I stood on the podium, I won in Moto2 twice as well so for sure it’s a special race for me.”

It’s a special race for MotoGP™, and it starts at 14:00 (GMT +2) on Sunday.