WSBK » Vittorio Iannuzzo


Vittorio Iannuzzo

Career

A Superstock champion he may be, but Iannuzzo has been a mainstay on the world stage for over a decade, but is yet to produce results representative of his many years in the top flight.

Flitting between the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock series’ for 12 years now, Iannuzzo makes his first international appearance in 1998 riding a Tienna Yamaha part-time in the Supersport World Series. Ending the year a lowly 50th in the standings, Iannuzzo at least makes an impression on the domestic scene by finishing third in class in the Italian series.

A move to Lorenzini by Leoni Yamaha for the next two seasons helps Iannuzzo finish third in Italy once again, but while he makes small strides in the world championship, a best race finish of ninth position in 1999 was all he had to show for his troubles.

A change of machinery would see Iannuzzo tackle the 2001 WSS Championship on a Suzuki and he would enjoy a small upturn in fortune, lowering his personal best result with a seventh place finish at Assen.

Indeed, while it was only good enough for 18th in the standings, Iannuzzo had done enough to catch the eye of Alstare Suzuki over the course of the winter and he was subsequently signed to head up its Superstock challenge.

Capitalising on Suzuki’s edge over arch rivals Honda and Yamaha, Iannuzzo revived his reputation with a dominant turn on Stock machinery. Winning the opening two races to establish an early advantage, Iannuzzo would triumph on a further two occasions to cement his maiden internationally recognised title by a clear 49 points.

Finding himself in favour with the Belgian-based team, Iannuzzo re-signed for 2003 with his eye set on a switch to the team’s Superbike division. Although he began the year on the sidelines as Alstare focused on a single bike for Gregorio Lavilla, Iannuzzo made it out for his World Superbike debut during round four at Monza.

Competing in the next four events, Iannuzzo finished inside the top ten on his first outing at Monza, but would make bigger headlines on his second home round appearance at Misano by leading race one – before falling – and finishing seventh in the second. That seventh place remains his best World Superbike result to this day.

His tenure with Alstare’s Superbike operation was brief, however, Iannuzzo injuring himself in a crash at Assen before failing to re-appear before the end of the season.

Even so, Alstare retained faith in him, but would shuffle Iannuzzo back to Supersports, where he would struggle again to get comfortable on 600cc machinery. Save for a sixth place finish at the season opener, Iannuzzo couldn’t replicate his Superbike form and by the end of the season he was back in the Superstock category, albeit still with Alstare.

A split from Suzuki followed in 2005 with Iannuzzo favouring a full season of Superstock racing aboard an MV Agusta prepared by top Italian outfit Gimotorsport. The bike showed potential on occasions and Iannuzzo took it to the podium at Misano, but the good results were sporadic and 14th position overall was a disappointing outcome for a former champion.

Despite this, Iannuzzo had not been forgotten by the Superbike fraternity and he would return to both the category and Suzuki in 2006 with Celani Italia. Riding a familiar, but dated bike, Iannuzzo would take until the sixth round to get on the score sheet and by the final round he had jumped to Sterilgarda Berik Ducati in place of retired rider-owner Marco Borciani.

A return to Italy ensues in 2007 as Iannuzzo focuses on the national Superstock series, but he is soon back on a Superbike by the middle of the season after being signed to ride a third Kawasaki for factory-backed operation PSG-1 Corse. Managing five outings with the Sammarinese team, Iannuzzo finishes each of them inside the points, with a best finish of tenth coming at Vallelunga, just behind team-mates Fonsi Nieto and Regis Laconi.

His performances duly prompt satellite Kawasaki concern, Team Pedercini, to sign Iannuzzo for a full season in 2008. However, a wrist injury sustained during a startline collision at the second round in Australia would set the tone for Iannuzzo’s season and he would ultimately fail to get into the top fifteen on any occasion. More tellingly, Iannuzzo retired in an astonishing 17 of 22 races he started.

Despite this, Iannuzzo remained in Superbikes for another season in 2009 after getting a shot with Italian Superstock graduates Squadra Corse Italia. Another change of bike for Iannuzzo, this time a Honda, he again struggled for form during the first half of the season before finally returning to the points with a 15th place finish at Brno. A repeat result the Nurburgring would leave Iannuzzo with just two points and 40th in the standings to show for.

Despite this Iannuzzo would retain his ride with SCI for 2010, but it was an endeavour that would last just five rounds into the season when both rider and team exited World Superbikes citing a lack of funds. Nonetheless, Iannuzzo would turn up again just two rounds later, albeit in the World Supersport class riding the ParkinGO Triumph Daytona 675.

His first outing on Supersport machinery since 2004, Iannuzzo enjoyed a respectable end to the season, picking up a handful of points in four of the remaining six races.

Opting for a full season of Supersport competition in 2011, Iannuzzo joined fellow veteran Massimo Roccoli at Lorenzini Kawasaki and would enjoy a fairly competitive season, peaking with a run to seventh position at Imola on the way to 14th overall.

For 2012, Iannuzzo returned to Triumph machinery under the Suriano banner and would continue to show progress as he posted regular top ten finishes, including a career-best fifth position, once again at Imola. Claiming ninth overall, it was arguably Iannuzzo’s best performance since his Superstock title-winning year.

With his reputation in Supersport growing, it was a surprise when it was announced that Iannuzzo would be back in the Superbike class in 2013 with the privateer Grillini team, which will embark on its second season with the BMW S1000RR. Keen to break into the mid-pack this time, it will be the fifth time that Iannuzzo has lined up at the start of a WSBK season.

Career Highlights:

2013: Returns to World Superbike competition with Grillini BMW

2012: World Supersport Championship, Suriano Triumph, 9th

2011: World Supersport Championship, Lorenzini Kawasaki, 14th

2010: World Supersport Championship (6 races), BE1 Triumph, 18th

World Superbike Championship, (8 races) Squadra Corse Honda, N/A

2009: World Superbike Championship, Squadra Corse Honda, 40th

2008: World Superbike Championship, Pedercini Kawasaki, N/C

2007: World Superbike Championship (5 races), PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki, 19th

2006: World Superbike Championship. Celani Suzuki / Sterilgarda-Berik Ducati, 26th

Italian Superbike Championship (6 races), 6th (2 wins)

2005: FIM Superstock 1000 Championship, Gimotorsport MV Agusta, 14th

2004: World Supersport Championship (8 races), Suzuki Alstare, 16th

FIM Superstock 1000 Championship (2 races), Suzuki Alstare, 21st

2003: World Superbike Championship (8 races), Suzuki Alstare, 18th

Italian Superbike Championship (6 races), 3rd

2002: FIM Superstock 1000 Championship, Suzuki Alstare, Champion (4 wins)

2001: World Supersport Championship, DMR Suzuki Italia, 18th

2000: World Supersport Championship, Lorenzini T Italia Yamaha, 31st

1999: World Supersport Championship, Lorenzini by Leoni Yamaha, 18th

Italian Supersport Championship, Lorenzini by Leoni Yamaha , 3rd

1998: World Supersport Series, Tienne Yamaha, 50th

Italian Supersport Championship, 3rd

1997: 125cc Italian Championship. N/C

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