Headache for Ducati as a rival manufacturer lurks to sign Andrea Iannone

Andrea Iannone's impressive comeback has impressed Ducati's competitors

Andrea Iannone, Catalunya WorldSBK Race1, 23 March
Andrea Iannone, Catalunya WorldSBK Race1, 23 March

BMW are reportedly in the mix to poach Andrea Iannone next year.

His future in World Superbikes depends on whether Alvaro Bautista chooses to race on.

The WSBK champion Bautista is now 39 years old and could retire rather than compete next season.

If he does opt out, his factory Ducati seat will be allocated to Iannone, GPOne report.

There is an option in the contract for Iannone to remain with Go Eleven Ducati next year too.

But, should Bautista stay, Iannone will receive interest from rival manufacturers.

BMW are at the front of the queue for his services.

Michael Van Der Mark’s contract with BMW expires this year, so Iannone could replace him.

The arrival at BMW this season of Toprak Razgatlioglu, plus the test team comprising of Sylvain Guintoli and Bradley Smith, proves that the German brand means business.

Ducati are therefore presented with a potential problem: keeping either Bautista or Iannone in their ranks next year, but both might be unachievable.

A solution might be allowing Iannone to test the Ducati MotoGP bike. He has told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that he wouldn't rule out being given that opportunity this year.

Last season, Bautista raced in the Malaysian MotoGP as a wildcard.

Offering Iannone the opportunity to return to MotoGP machinery - even if not in a race - could tempt him to ignore BMW’s advances.

The great relationship between Iannone and Gigi Dall’Igna makes it very plausible that he would want to stay.

Iannone returned to professional motorcycle racing this year after a four-year doping ban.

He was given a WSBK Ducati bike, after representing the manufacturer in MotoGP.

Iannone has been one of the bright sparks of the opening two rounds of the 2024 season.

He has already claimed two podium finishes to offer a reminder of the talent that was on the shelf for four years.

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