Pramac Ducati: Hard to replace Andrea Iannone

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 02 July 2014 10:10

Pramac Ducati bosses have admitted it will be difficult to replace Andrea Iannone if the Italian secures the factory seat he is seeking with Ducati or Suzuki for 2015.

The 24-year-old has made it clear that he wants a factory bike next season and is hoping to get a promotion to Ducati’s factory squad if Andrea Dovizioso or Cal Crutchlow leaves.

Iannone has also been linked with Suzuki and MCN understands that Go & Fun, title sponsors of Fausto Gresini’s satellite Honda squad, are also keen on his signature.

Iannone has only finished outside of the top 10 in two of the first eight races and Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti told MCN it would be a big loss to the Italian squad if he left.

“We are really happy with Andrea and we would really like to keep him. He has grown up better and quicker than what we expected after a very difficult first season. But his reaction has been very impressive. It is normal that his goal is to go in a full factory team and we understand that. He has a direct contract with Ducati so it would be a natural and normal progression. But it will be difficult to replace him, “said Guidotti, who conceded that it would be difficult to convince top young talent to take a gamble on starting their MotoGP career on an unforgiving Desmosedici.

He added: “There are some very interesting riders in Moto2 but being honest I can’t see them wanting to be on our bike as a first step into MotoGP. Our bike is pretty difficult but hopefully in the future it will be more attractive. I think (Maverick) Vinales and (Luis) Salom are still too young and they need one more year in Moto2 to get more experience.”

Guidotti said Pramac Ducati had made tentative contact with Spaniard Tito Rabat, who has dominated Moto2 with four wins in 2014.

Guidotti added: “Rabat could be an option because he has more experience. We had a very first approach with his manager just to check if he is available or not. But it was a very quick chat.”