If Andrea Iannone could wind back the clock on his racing career, one thing he would change is leaving Ducati at the end of 2016.

After winning races for Speed Up and Suter in Moto2, the Italian spent four seasons in MotoGP with Ducati, initially at Pramac and then alongside Andrea Dovizioso at the factory team.

It was Iannone who gave Gigi Dall’Igna his first-ever MotoGP victory - and Ducati's first win since Casey Stoner - in Austria 2016, after getting the better of experienced team-mate Dovizioso.

By that time, with Jorge Lorenzo signed for the following season, it was clear the Italians were in a duel for the remaining 2017 factory Desmosedici seat. The historic Austrian victory came at a crucial time, levelling the contest after Iannone previously blotted his copybook by colliding with Dovizioso in Argentina and Lorenzo in Barcelona.

But Iannone made his own decision by switching to Suzuki, then later Aprilia. He hasn’t won a race since 2016, while Dovizioso has gone on to claim 13 Ducati wins and finish title runner-up to Marc Marquez for the past three seasons.

When asked about his regrets in an Instagram live chat with former MotoGP star Max Biaggi, Iannone said: "In hindsight you would always change something from your past. In my case I shouldn't have left Ducati."

He added: "The 2015 and 2016 seasons had been very good for me. The [Ducati] in particular was impressive in acceleration and braking, but suffered on corner entry. I switched to Suzuki and found the opposite."

After a poor debut season on the GSX-RR, Iannone claimed four podiums in 2018 before starting a new challenge with Aprilia, which is still awaiting its first podium of the four-stroke era.

"I feel good with the team and I am convinced that I can do a really good job," said Iannone, who made history for the factory by briefly leading last year's Australian Grand Prix.

"The whole company has grown a lot and the [racing delay] will allow time to improve the GP2020 even more."

The 30-year-old, still awaiting a verdict following an FIM Hearing for failing a doping test at Sepang last year, also admitted to Biaggi that he had been a fan of the Roman Emperor's arch-rival Rossi when growing up.

"My brother Angelo was a 'Biaggista', but I wasn't! When I started racing, I was seven-years-old and Rossi won his first title in 125, he was my idol."

 

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