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MotoGP Le Mans: Injured Iannone pushes at ‘150%’ for heroic fifth

Andrea Iannone lit up the French MotoGP with a stunning battle with Marc Marquez, still finished fifth despite losing feeling with left shoulder
Andrea Iannone was proud of a fighting fifth position in the French MotoGP at Le Mans after racing well below full fitness to finish the demanding 28-lap race.

Having dislocated his left shoulder just over a week before the event, Iannone produced a combative display in a bid to ward off the advancing Marc Marquez, the pair producing the most dramatic on-track action of the race.

With the injured shoulder tiring at mid-distance, Iannone revealed he overworked his right arm and began to suffer from arm-pump, the condition that has afflicted so many riders this year.

“It's strange, but I'm really happy for the race today, because I think my performance was really good,” he said on Sunday evening. “It's a really difficult situation in the race, because in the beginning, I'm really strong, I have a good feeling with the bike, it's possible to push really hard. I follow Jorge and Dovi, so I have a good feeling with the track, with everything to be able to push.

“But after half race, the situation is complicated a little bit, because I have a lot of pain in my shoulder, and I don't use at 100% my left arm. I use a lot the right arm, and I ride more with right arm, and after half race, especially, it is really difficult for me, because the feel in the braking point is really bad.

Iannone then revealed that he even considered pulling in such was the feeling with his left arm.

“At this moment, I think "OK Andrea, stop," because the situation is really complicated. I risk a lot, risk to crash and go out of the track, and I want to come back in the box.”

The 24-year old, who remains fifth overall in the championship standings, eight points back of Marquez, got away with Jorge Lorenzo and team-mate Andrea Dovizioso at the start.

However, once Valentino Rossi got by for third Iannone had to rest to recover some strength, allowing Marquez and Bradley Smith to close.

“I think OK, I wait two or three laps, I go really slow in these laps, and the situation improve a little bit. But Marc and Bradley arrive, and try to pass me, but I don't want, because for me, it is really important to stay in front of Marc and Bradley for the points, for the championship. When Marc pass me, my situation is really really difficult, because I don't have a lot of power and a lot of energy in my body.

“But I try at 100% for fight with Marc, and so I think is a really good fight with him, a really good spectacle. So I'm really happy, but is really important for me and my team this weekend, because they help me a lot to adjust the bike, and for sure the Clinica Mobile guys work with me a lot and help me for improve the condition. And this is really important, and I want to thank them a lot.”

When asked about the battle with Marquez, Iannone said he upped his effort to '150%' to get back past his old Moto2 nemesis.

“I push hard, I think 150%! Because yes, my arms in the left is like I don't have one, and with the right arm, I have arm pump, because the sensation is nothing. But for sure I want to stay with him, I want to arrive in front of Marc, that is really difficult because he stay in the physical condition OK, I think. But I'm really happy, I try my best this race, and I hope to improve my physical condition for Mugello, because it's a really important race for me, and for my team.”

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