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SBK, Iannone opens his heart: "Me, faith, disqualification and the path to salvation towards a return"

EXCLUSIVE - “I already knew before the sentence that I would be disqualified for four years, but the sooner you metabolize, the sooner you get back up. I don't think I'm a very easy person, I demand a lot MotoGP? I always say never say never, but now I'm here and I'm happy"

SBK: Iannone opens his heart:

A long, in some ways infinite wait, has finally come to an end: four years after the last time, Andrea Iannone is ready to take part in his first race. It seemed like yesterday when we saw him get on the Ducati in Jerez and on Saturday we will find him at the start of Race 1 at Phillip Island. There is no point in beating about the bush: based on what we saw during the winter, there is a lot of anticipation for him.

On the other hand, the man needs little introduction, because his career speaks for itself and the numbers don't lie. You can love someone like Andrea or not, perhaps because he is a bit of a bad boy at times, but his talent is beyond question: true, pure and crystalline.

At the same time, he doesn't lack the personality to bother the great Mick Jagger with his maxim: "As long as my face is on page one, I don't care what people say about me on page seventeen."

On the eve of the Phillip Island round we shared a long chat with the new rider of the Go Eleven team. Many topics were touched upon, addressed by Andrea with serenity and tranquillity without beating around the bush. We like it like this: no filters, direct, spontaneous, on a human scale.

Andrea, here we go: the moment has arrived! How are you experiencing this wait for the restart?

“I'm calm – he began – I don't deny that the tension is there, because obviously you want to do well without making any mistakes. The moment you feel good sensations with the bike, you want to have a good race weekend."

Have you already imagined what Saturday will be like when you leave the garage to go to the grid to line up?

“I am someone who lives the moment because thinking too much then leads you to imagine things that could go in the right direction but instead go in the opposite way. Maybe you think you're going to win and then you come last (smiles). You can go anywhere with your mind, but you have to be realistic and I'm very happy to start again with the aim of doing our best. This challenge will not be easy, because there is still a lot of work to do and we are not even 100%. In fact, there are many aspects to know about this Superbike such as the tyres, the new asphalt and then the dynamics in the race. I hope to have fun and have a good race."

During your first interview after your return to racing, in Milan, they asked you: "How do you explain being so fast after four years of absence?" Your response was, “Maybe I am blessed by God.” Are you a believer?

“I'm a believer in my own way and I don't know if it's really a faith or not. I am a non-practicing believer (smiles). I believe in myself much more than others can do for me. As they say: help yourself, God will help you."

How difficult were these four long years to deal with?

“It's not easy to explain my four years. I certainly wasn't bored because I had so many issues. The moment you lose what you have always done, you consequently lose your references and comfort zone. But I am someone who, if there is something to do, I do it without creating problems or fears. Perhaps this was my salvation and is part of my way of being. It certainly was inevitably difficult. But I want to say one thing."


“The sooner you accept defeats and metabolise, the sooner you get back up. Before the sentence, I had already metabolised what my verdict would be. I already knew that I would get 4 years and if it had been up to me I wouldn't have even continued, because I didn't believe in that type of justice. In this regard I want to respond concretely"

Go on!

“Many times it's useless to sit there feeling sorry for yourself and brooding. In the end it happened like this and it's true that it hurts, it hurts a lot, but what can you do? Tell me, what can you do? I always say that much worse things can happen in life and only after a long time will we understand many things."

Looking at you from the outside, one of the things that most impresses is your way of being in the garage? Demanding the most from everyone, leaving no stone unturned.

“I consume other people's energy more than my own (smiles). I don't think I'm a very easy person, I demand a lot and I know it, but I'm not a dickhead. Here in Go Eleven I have brought and spent a lot of myself, especially the sweat and sacrifices accumulated in the past in other teams. What I put on the track must be put in by everyone else, giving 150%, because otherwise we are not on the same page. Now I'm 34 years old and I'm not here because I have nothing else to do, since I'm putting my life on the line. I do all this because I aspire to results that make me and everyone else happy, aware that it will take time."

On the day of your return to racing, Carlo Pernat declared: Iannone's goal is to return to MotoGP. It is true?

“To tell the truth, I don't think about it. In life I say never say never say never, but I can't predict the future. Now I'm here and I'm fine because I'm racing."

In Austria you were the first to take Ducati back to victory. How much has that Andrea changed from the one I have in front of me today?

“I risked the soft tyre before the start (he recalls). What can I say: I'm the same Andrea as always."


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