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MotoGP Catalunya: Iannone: I had more grip here with GP14!

After a low key qualifying, Andrea Iannone managed a strong top six finish despite a chronic lack of grip
Andrea Iannone believes his 2014 Ducati offered more grip around Montmeló than the GP15 as he fought his way to fourth place in the Catalan MotoGP round.

Second at his home race two weeks before, Iannnone struggled with grip throughout race weekend, qualifying in a lowly twelfth, his worst Saturday performance since Jerez, 2014.

Such was the lack of grip on offer, Iannone said he felt more at home on Ducati's improving but troublesome '14 model twelve months before.

“I think last year the whole of the bike had more grip than the GP15,” said the 25-year old. “For sure it had other problems. Turning less, but especially in the grip, I prefer in this track. In the beginning the slide and spin is so much. It was not saving the tyre.”

Speaking of the race in which he finished fourth, Iannone said he was more than pleased to score good points considering the problems he had suffered throughout the three days.

“I'm really happy today for my performance. It was a really difficult race and a really difficult weekend. For sure the beginning of the weekend in first practice I have a problem with the bike. It's really difficult because the bike has less grip in front and rear, especially the rear. In this track it's famous for the asphalt and less grip. In this week I work a lot with my team to improve this situation. It doesn't change a lot, not improve.

“For sure in the race everything is difficult I'm focused on the tyres in the beginning. There is a lot of slide and it isn't good to ride. Generally I'm happy for the result. It's important for the championship.”

Iannone chose the harder front tyre option as it offered greater stability under braking in Montmeló's numerous heavy braking zones.

“When I brake the bike in the rear doesn't have a good rear grip. The engine brake I use more but the bike don't stop in the rear. The rear tyre have a really nice grip. With the 33 when I stop the bike have a lot of movement. I think the other Ducati riders stress more this point in the front tyres. When I try the 38 [the har] during the weekend it's an advantage for me in this point. It helps a little bit to stop the bike and with turning. It has more feeling in the brake in the middle of the corner.”

The Italian also revealed he switched to a softer engine mapping setting after 'two or three' big moments on the first lap as he looked ahead to the second half of the race.

“In my first lap I risk crash in two or three times, especially in turn four, five and eleven because in front the grip is less. The rear also. I change the strategy a little for the bike. I put the soft map for manage the tyres a little better. I understand this situation and I think, 'Ok, the rear is more soft but with this map after half race it is better.”

As team-mate Andrea Dovizioso crashed out at turn four, Iannone leapfrogged his countryman to sit 11 points clear in third in the world championship standings.

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Iannone, Smith Catalunya MotoGP Race 2015
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June 15, 2015 6:45 PM

Another solid result after a difficult weekend. I really like Iannone. He is aggressive, but he's not crashing anywhere near as much as I suspected he might - and he's fast. His battles with Marquez soon after dislocating his shoulder were something else. I have great respect for Dovi, but Crazy Joe has the X factor. If Ducati can just give him the bike, I am convinced he's their best shot to deliver the goods.


June 15, 2015 7:35 PM

As I've said after each of the last few races, I can't believe this guy doesn't get more positive comments and press. Am I the only one noticing that he is 3rd in the points (behind only Lorenzo and Rossi!), hasn't crashed and is at this point ahead of his teammate?

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