30 May 2015
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.”
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