MotoGP rookie Andrea Iannone believes his hopes of succeeding in the new look Pramac Ducati squad will be given a massive boost by Ducati’s commitment to offer him full factory support in 2013.
In a bid to reduce the performance gap to rivals Honda and Yamaha. Ducati has changed its strategy for the forthcoming world championship campaign and will bring its satellite team under the wing of the factory.
The result means Iannone and teammate Ben Spies will race identical GP13 Desmosedici machines to those ridden by factory duo Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.
Iannone, who moves to MotoGP having finished third in each Moto2 championship since its inception in 2010, said the factory support of Ducati would take away the doubt about whether the factory team was on much more superior machinery.
He told MCN: “Ducati is supporting me 100% and this is an honour for me. I have a factory bike like the factory team and this is a big bonus for me because it means I can focus on the racing and not think that the factory bike is much better and I don’t have it. This gives me a lot of tranquillity.”
Speaking about his expectations for the new season, which kicks off under the spectacular Losail International Circuit floodlights in Qatar on April 7, Iannone said the main goal will be to battle with Dovizioso, Hayden and Spies.
He added: “I am only focused on me and I don’t want any pressure because that doesn't help you do good work and work on the objective of coming better.
"My target will be to challenge with Andrea, Nicky and Ben because they will have the same bike as me. My dream is to be racing at the front but I don’t think about this when you look at how many strong riders there are.
"It is impossible to expect to be at the front. But I will try to stay with the three on the same bike as me, or at least have a small distance between them and me.”