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MotoGP Italy: Iannone toasts 'special' piece of history at Mugello

Ducati's Andrea Iannone seals maiden MotoGP pole to become first Italian rider to clinch top spot on an Italian machine at his home grand prix since Giacomo Agostini in 1972.
Andrea Iannone made a little bit of history as he clinched pole position with a sizzling new record lap for the Italian MotoGP at Mugello, hailing the feat on Saturday as a 'special moment'.

The injured factory Ducati rider became the first Italian to qualify in pole position on an Italian machine at his home grand prix since Giacomo Agostini in 1972 at Imola on the MV Agusta.

Iannone - due to debut a new engine with team-mate Andrea Dovizioso on Saturday - set a red-hot lap in 1m 46.489s to edge out Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo by only 0.095s to secure his maiden premier class pole start, with Dovi making it two Ducatis on the front row in third.

“It is an incredible day for me and a special moment, because it is my first pole position in Italy with an Italian bike and so I am really happy,” said Iannone, who hurt his shoulder during a practice tumble during a private test at Mugello prior to the French round of the championship at Le Mans.

“It was a really fast lap and a record for the track and today I improved the speed a little bit better than last year.

“For sure it is really difficult for me because my shoulder is not 100 per-cent, but this is the situation and I want to think positive and this is really important.”

Iannone anticipates a tough race not least due to his physical disadvantage, highlighting the expected red-hot race pace of Lorenzo, Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi and even Marc Marquez, who has it all to do after qualifying in 13th place on row five.

“The race will be really, really difficult I am sure, because the pace of Jorge [Lorenzo], Dovi [Andrea Dovizioso] and Marc [Marquez] is very strong, but the shoulder is not ready for a strong fight,” said Iannone.

“For sure, Vale [Valentino Rossi] tomorrow will stay in the race but I hope to have a good start because I want to in the first corner in first position.

“I think the atmosphere in this track this year is fantastic and I will try my best for sure.”

Iannone was satisfied with his pace on the used tyre in FP4, although he concedes he was not as strong as Lorenzo or Dovizioso.

“For me, the first problem is the shoulder and the tyre is the second problem,” he said.

“I started with the used tyre in FP4 and the pace was not so bad, not as fast like Andrea and Jorge, but I try and improve a little bit for tomorrow but I want to try and focus on my shoulder.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Iannone and Dovizioso, Italian MotoGP 2015
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Crutchlow, Vinales, Australian MotoGP 2016
Maverick Vinales, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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May 30, 2015 10:37 PM

They should've made their poles count only for their own special category. It's such a shame to have brilliant times set by the Honda and Yamaha on harder tires be put on the same par with those and be forgotten. Because, with the coming of Michelin it's quite possible these records will not change for some time.


May 30, 2015 6:08 PM

Congratulations Joe, well done. This is going to be interesting. Joe is on pole, but he's injured. Dovi is on the other side, on softs, and he isn't. And they have Jorge between them, and he's not shy. And back of them you have Danni, who has a sore arm and is being careful, which might help him nurse tyres to the end. And you have Rossi, who has come through from about there on the grid to win once or twice before, and he has the home town crowd on side. He even has the solar helmet. And a couple of rows behind them, you have Marcy Marc, who has history (from moto2 days) of coming from 33rd to first in one lap, and bulldozing a few slow-pokes on the way. I need to stock up on popcorn. This is better than Days of our Lives.

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