Ducati's Andrea Iannone is feeling optimistic of his prospects this weekend as the Italian rider heads into the second round of the MotoGP World Championship in Austin buoyed by a terrific maiden premier class rostrum in Qatar.

Iannone finished seventh at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas last year on the Pramac machine but is feeling confident after the GP15's performance at Losail and is eager to strike again while the iron is hot.

"After my first-ever MotoGP podium in Qatar, now we are going to Austin, to a track where last year I almost managed to get onto the podium and so I am very happy to go back there, this time as a factory Ducati Team rider," said Iannone.

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"The Texan circuit is really nice and I think that with the Desmosedici GP15 we can again aim to score another good result, especially in the light of this positive moment I am going through together with my team."

Iannone rode a smart race in Qatar and was in touch with the leaders throughout, only losing ground in the final stages as Rossi and Dovizioso began to fight it out for the victory.

He rallied to pass Jorge Lorenzo with three laps remaining to snatch third as the Movistar Yamaha rider struggled with a helmet issue that hampered his vision, and Iannone showed enough to suggest he can become a regular frontrunner this season on the GP15.