Andrea Iannone rode the first day of free practice at Assen like a man with a point to prove. The Italian topped both MotoGP sessions on Friday and then revealed he has yet to concoct a plan for Sunday's race.
An overly ambitious move that took down reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo in the Grand Prix of Catalunya had serious repercussions for the Italian; he will start the Dutch TT from the back of the grid.
Speaking on Friday afternoon, Iannone revealed that improving his Desmosedici GP machine through Assen's fast changes of direction would occupy his thoughts more than a strategy for Sunday. That, he explained, will come after qualifying.
“It's the first time [I've started from the back of the grid],” said the Italian. “Tomorrow after qualifying I'll check the grid on the paper to understand which riders are in front of me, to see the strategy. Now it's very early because I don't know which riders will be in front.
“I'm happy for the result in the first and second practice. It's very good for us. We ride very fast and have a good pace. I want to improve the bike a bit because in the change of direction the bike is really hard to ride, especially when I use the front brake to reduce the speed changing direction.
“The bike is hard. This is the big problem at the moment. For the race and 26 laps it's difficult to manage this situation. From tomorrow we'll try to improve this and balance the bike better. But we have the speed and this is very important.
“Tomorrow is the most important day for us. I want to improve the setting and feeling of the bike, also in the entry of the corner because I have chatter. This is very important. We improve the bike with less energy and it's interesting for the race. I have energy to push all the race from the first to the last lap.”
On where the factory Ducati needs to improve, the Italian continued, “My focus is always the best target. Sometimes it's very difficult because it's not possible to win all the time, every race. It's not possible to always fight for the podium. But in my head I want this every day.
“Sometimes we have the limit [be it with] bike, rider… I think for the future it's better if I understand this situation. Also it's better if Ducati improve the bike. I improve Andrea in my head and Ducati improve the bike. The limit is very close always. It's very easy to crash or make a mistake.”
Asked what would represent an acceptable result on Sunday, Iannone added, “For sure first is the best result but I'll try my best. Only during the race will it be possible to understand my target.”