Andrea Iannone produced what was probably one of the best races of his MotoGP career at Phillip Island, when he finished third in Sunday’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The Italian, who started from the front row of the grid from second place, rocketed away to head the field into Turn 1. On the next lap, while braking for Turn 10, Iannone then hit a seagull on the track, which made a big hole in the front right fairing of his Desmosedici GP15. Despite this setback, the Ducati Team man continued his exceptional pace, never once dropping out of the leading group made up of Lorenzo, Marquez and Rossi.
The top four swapped places on numerous occasions, giving rise to one of the most spectacular GPs in recent years. On the last lap Iannone, who had also led the race for several corners, was able to hold off the attacks from Rossi and he flashed across the line in third place, just 0.930 of a second behind the race winner, Marquez. Thanks to this result, Andrea has increased his lead in the standings over Pedrosa, who is 23 points behind in fifth.
His team-mate Andrea Dovizioso had a difficult time today. The Italian, who started from row 4 in tenth position, crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in tenth and then scrapped with Pol Espargarò and Smith until lap 14, but lost ground over the next few laps. He eventually finished thirteenth, behind Redding and Petrucci. Dovizioso still lies seventh overall, just five points behind Smith.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 3rd
“What an incredible race! It was really important for me to finish on the podium because here we had the possibility of doing a good race, but the result was neither easy nor a foregone conclusion. We all had a great battle, passing each other many times, and it was an incredible spectacle, I hope also for the people watching at home. The team fully deserved this result and it was also important for me because we are getting better all the time, race after race. If you look at last year’s race, here we have made incredible progress, and no one expected this. On the second lap something really unusual happened, because there was a seagull in front of me trying to get out of the way: I hit the poor thing head on, but in the end it was like a good luck kiss!”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 13th
“This was a difficult race for me, any which way you look at it, from the start to the last lap. I was unable to ride well and it was embarrassing: I found myself in positions that are not really ‘mine’, and I feel very sorry for my team. I had the same problems all weekend, they weren’t big problems but we were never able to resolve them. Then in the last few laps the rear tyre went completely and I no longer had any traction. Maybe something happened, but in any case my performance was very disappointing. Now we have to try and understand the reason why, because it’s important for the future.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“Today Andrea Iannone did a really fantastic race! He rode so well and took a lot of risks, but I believe that he was also given back-up by an excellent GP15 that in any case, at least on the straight, was second to no other bike. I’d say that everyone worked really well, and I have to thank all the guys in Ducati Corse for their extraordinary commitment over the last couple of years. I believe that this excellent result is fully deserved. Iannone is improving race by race, showing he has the pace and the maturity of a true champion. It was a pity about Andrea Dovizioso, who was never able to find a good feeling with his GP15 here at Phillip Island.”