Andrea Iannone has confirmed he and brother Angelo will take on Romano Fenati’s interests from now in a bid to restart the career of the controversial Italian.

Iannone, the one-time MotoGP race winner, has known his countryman from his junior years, and acknowledged Fenati has come through “a strange history of life [that was] difficult.”

It was the current Moto3 challenger that approached the Iannone brothers to seek advice and guidance. And while Andrea insists his current mission of making Aprilia a competitive force in MotoGP is the top priority, he will be available to offer Fenati advice.

Brother Angelo will pay closer attention, he said, spending time with Fenati throughout race weekends to observe his working methods and what can be improved. “I think this work for me is a passion before business,” Iannone said.

“I’ve known Romano from when he was five or six years old,” began the Aprilia rider. “I knew his grandfather. I also raced with pocket bikes like him. I think Romano has a really good talent, a strange history of life, difficult.

“When he came back in this world he remained without people, no? Also this year Romano is [only] with Romano. He asked me if I could help him. I said, ‘I don’t know if it’s a good idea because of my situation.’ But we will see.

“In the end we decide to help him. I think it’s a good compromise. My brother is like an angel. He’s a good man for Romano. Angelo has a good character, he’s calm and smart. It’s a good help for Romano.

“For me it’s impossible to follow him because I have my work, my challenge. I live for this. I am focussed on this project. Romano is a different project and we will try to help him.

“My brother helps Romano. Me and my brother will work together. But first of all it’s the job of my brother. My job is riding my bike, talking with the engineers from Aprilia and my brother follows Romano. I have a little bit more experience so I can help.”

Will this result in the Iannone brothers spending time with Fenati outside the track?

“Out of the track we will see,” he said. “We start now. It’s not possible to change everything. We’ll start to work. My brother is a good help. Following Romano for two or three races and he’ll know at the end what is the best job for him.

“But for sure we have everything to help the riders. I have a good factory at home with a gym, an office, with factory people who follow people for training – everything. We will see at the end.

“I think Romano has a big potential. For sure he’s a really great rider with big talent. But sometimes he needs a guide. When you are 18 or 19 years old it’s really easy to lose the way. But in any case we’ll see. We’ll try to help Romano in the best way, in the best of everything.”

The Misano Grand Prix sees Iannone work within a restructured garage. One time crew chief Fabrizio Cecchini has been moved to a ‘technical coordinator’ role. Pietro Caprara steps up from the test team to work in Iannone’s corner.

“Cecchini has moved up,” Iannone explained. “It’s always difficult to switch during the season. For us it’s better because we need to improve many things in the garage and also at home in the factory. Aprilia wanted to put Cecchini in the next level and I’m sure it’s impossible to improve something.

“Sincerely I think Pietro Caprara is a really good man with good experience. We worked well during the test. The [race] weekend is completely different. We will see. I think we have a good chance.”

Was he upset at the lack of new parts available at the recent Misano test? “Happy or unhappy, the situation will be the same,” he said. “I prefer to remain happy. I’ll struggle less. Before we receive something new it’s important to know what we want.

“At this moment Aprilia start to work on the new bike and the people are completely focussed on it. It’s important we continue to understand and take the information. I don’t expect a new bike from now until the end of the season.

“Many people remain surprised by my comments but everyone started following me. This is an important step. I believe a lot in this work.”

Why were they surprised? “Many top teams have a different situation with the bike. I think Aleix is a really good rider. But he started to ride MotoGP at first with the Open bike [Espargaro made his debut with a satellite Pramac Ducati 800 in 2009. He raced the ‘Open’ Forward Yamaha in 2014].

“His first year with the Open class it was like without electronics. Then he switched to Suzuki but Suzuki had just come back. So not a complicated system.

“When I arrived I was surprised. [I said] ‘Guys, no, this is not a MotoGP bike. A MotoGP bike is like this, this and this.’ We improved a lot in this area. We need time and patience.”



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