Andrea Iannone left Qatar both frustrated and emboldened by his performance in the first MotoGP race of 2016, as he saw his victory hopes dashed by a fast fall at turn 13.
The Italian was contesting the leading positions when he fell on lap six, a move that left him 'really disappointed.'
On the one hand, he was sure of his overall pace and top speed, and feels he could have posed a serious challenge to the eventual race winner Jorge Lorenzo.
But on the other, Iannone was buoyed by his good feelings with Ducati's Desmosedici GP in its race debut, and is confident that he can be a regular challenger 'at the top, at every race.'
“It's difficult to accept this because I'm sure I could have fought with Jorge,” mused a philosophical Iannone on Sunday night. “With me in the race for sure it is completely different. The next time we try another time.
“I touched the white line and it caused the crash. This is really strange but I don't know. For sure I had a different line. But this is the race life. I check on the data and everything is the same but when you look on the television it's clear I touched the white line. Usually it has grip so it's strange. This one was really slippery. Unfortunately we stay here, but OK.
“I am really disappointed about this experience but it is really important to look forward toward the next race. In another way we have positive points. We had a very good possibility to fight at the top, at every race. For sure this is my objective and we want to focus on this.
Speaking of his 2016 machine's top speed, which recorded a staggering 218mph in the afternoon warm-up, Iannone went on to state that he expects to be challenging at the competitive end of the field at the next round in Argentina.
“I think this year the competitiveness of the bike is very strong, especially the engine, it improved one more time. I did the speed record today in the warm-up. It's unbelievable, incredible. Also in Argentina I fight on the top and I think this year we have this potential. We are really close with the other manufacturers. We work in a really good way and I have a lot of time to stay on the top.”
The Italian made his intentions known early in the race, and just before his eventual fall, as he barged by team-mate Andrea Dovizioso at turn one to assume the lead. Although close, he was sure that contact had not been made.
“No touch. Only I wanted to stay in front. He wanted to stay in front of me. I don't know from the beginning and this is the race. Sure, I have another strategy than him. He is a different head and had a different strategy. But that's normal. I'm sure of my potential so that's the most important thing at the moment.”