1 February 2016
Iannone focusing on style, will assess ’16 bike on day two
Andrea Iannone spends the majority of day one at Sepang on '15 machine to adapt his style to Michelin's tyres, first impression of '16 bike positive.
Andrea Iannone spent the majority of the first day of official MotoGP testing in 2016 adjusting his riding style to accommodate the new Michelin tyres, before turning his full attention to Ducati's new machine.
One of the few riders to express a liking for the French rubber at the close of 2015, Iannone rode the GP15 for the majority of the day as he continued to learn the different intricacies and characteristics of Michelin's front and rear tyres.
In Iannone's opinion, the French firm has made “a big step” with the front, with it now acting more like Bridgestone's durable and consistent model. His fifth fastest time of the day, less than 0.2s off Valentino Rossi's second best time, bore testament to his progress.
That coupled with his Ducati engineers' adaption to the new electronics software, meant “the way” to find an optimum set-up for the first race at Qatar has been “more easy.”
“I'm really happy about the first day,” said the 26-year old. “I'm really excited [because] after a long time off ride the bike is a really good welcome back, to be in the seat. Today I focussed on my style. I never change the bike, the setting and everything on the bike is the same as the last test.
“Especially in the front [tyre], it is improved. It is more similar compared to Bridgestone and this is a big step. But from the beginning I appreciated the Michelin tyres, especially in the rear because they have a lot of grip.
“For sure I change the style because it is completely different to the Bridgestones. Also the setting on the electronics, the setting on the bike… from the beginning it's completely different. But test-by-test everything is good. The tyres, the setting on the bike, the setting on the electronics, the way is more easy.”
Iannone, who narrowly missed out on fourth place in the 2015 MotoGP championship, then sampled Ducati's new 'Desmosedici GP' machine at the close of the afternoon.
While initial impressions were good, Iannone only spent “eight or nine” laps on the machine. Thus it was too early to provide valuable feedback.
“In the last part of the day in the last hour I tried the Desmosedici GP and the feel is good. At the moment I don't say what is the principle difference because I don't ride the Desmosedici GP a lot, I think only eight or nine laps with different tyres.
“With the GP15 I used the soft tyre in the rear and the soft in the front. When I used the Desmo GP I changed the tyres and in the rear it was one step up [better]. But it's important for the first contact with the Desmo GP before tomorrow, because tomorrow we will focus on this bike.”
Another high profile name to sample the GP15 with new tyres and electronics was '07 and '11 world champion Casey Stoner, who tested the machine for the first time on Saturday.
The Australian's return to the Bologna factory in a testing capacity was something “beautiful” in Iannone's eyes, who, at the end of Monday afternoon, was curious to compare his data from the day to Stoner's.
“Casey is a really strong rider. He has a really strong talent. I think it's very good that he stays with us. He has a really good ability to help the teams, help the riders and it's beautiful. He has a good experience, a good talent and also when you have the possibility to compare the data with him it's important.
“I don't compare at the moment. For sure I'm really curious and after when the engineers finish the meeting I will check.”
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