MotoGP: Iannone building on Austin success

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Andrea Iannone has achieved a second successive weekend of strong results for Suzuki by taking their third podium in a row, backing up teammate Alex Rins’ accomplishment in Argentina to give the Japanese manufacturer their best run of form since 2007.

Looking impressive throughout the weekend, Iannone was able to deliver a strong performance in the closing stages of Sunday’s race to hold off the advances of Pramac Ducati racer Danilo Petrucci.

Yet despite delivering a strong performance in the race on a machine that’s rapidly adapting to his riding style (even before the tussle in front of him promoted him by three places) the Italian says that if he’d believed in himself a little bit more before the race then he could have been right in the mix.

“I ride like I rode last year, but for sure the bike is completely different and the set-up is completely different. We understand from this year and during the winter tests the best way for me, and I’m really happy about it. We’ve made improvements step by step to arrive here and everything is coming together.”

“We didn’t choose the right tyre though. We chose the hard one because the first three rows had one, but that’s experience for us, something that we’ve learned now. In the future we’ll think about ourselves and not everyone else! With a medium tyre it would have been possible to fight higher and remain close.”

It was a more disappointing day for teammate Alex Rins, though, with the youngest rider on the grid unable to convert a strong pace of his own into success. Crashing out in the opening laps, Rins admitted afterwards that it’ll take a long look at their data to determine the cause of his surprise fall.

“I don’t really know what happened, I only know that I was feeling really good with myself and the bike. But from the beginning I was struggling a bit with the front, and I didn’t have the same feeling as I had in FP4, but I still had a good rhythm. It’s hard to understand what happened because when I look at the data I was on the same line, I braked with the same intensity, had the same corner speed, but still I lost the front. So we need to try to understand more for the next races. We’ll have two days testing in Mugello and then we’ll head to France, I really like Le Mans and I know I will have a good rhythm and be able to battle.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer