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Iannone: "To ride an SBK you need a style halfway between Moto2 and MotoGP"

"I didn't have enough time to tailor the Ducati to myself, I still use a basic setup. I'm slower with qualifying tyres than race ones. Bautista? Let's wait before speaking"

SBK: Iannone:

For Andrea Iannone today at Phillip Island the time came to throw himself back into the fray. After a 4-year hiatus, the rider from Vasto was able to savour the adrenaline of a race weekend once again and - in true Italian style - the weather lent a hand in not making his life easy. In the end he can be satisfied with the 7th quickest time in the combined standings at the end of the two free practice sessions (0.281 behind Alex Lowes), but Andrea is not one to be satisfied easily.

“In the end, we are more or less at the same level as the tests – was his assessment - With the race tyres I am close to the best, but when I use the qualifying ones I struggle a lot, I lap half a second slower than with the harder tyres. I hope that the situation will be better tomorrow, we are working on the bike to manage this problem, we will see how it goes and I don't know what to expect."

The new asphalt which has led to the introduction of flag-to-flag in the races is creating quite a few problems.

“The grip is very high, whatever you do on the bike you never lose it, even if it maybe gets worse in other areas - explained the GO Eleven rider - If you look at Niccolò's data, he has a very smooth style and it's the right one to use here, it's perfect. At the end of the tests I said that the SBK riding style is halfway between that of Moto2 and that of MotoGP. In MotoGP you brake very hard and pick up the bike immediately, you don't want high speeds, at least when I was there, in SBK it's different, you ride a bit like the MotoGP bikes when they had 800 cc engines, that’s my opinion".

Bautista didn't shine either…

“I think Alvaro is struggling because there is a lot of grip on this track and he can't turn the bike with the rear because he pushes on the front. But I want to see in the race where he will finish before speaking” warned Andrea, who is more concerned about understanding how to improve his own performance than looking at that of others.

“I will arrive in qualifying with my eyes closed trying to understand the situation - he continued - I hope to be able to have a good session, at least to improve. We'll think about it a bit, but it's a difficult situation to manage. I don't have everything under control yet, I haven't had the time necessary to tailor the bike to myself, I use the basic Ducati setup. I have to take advantage of any moment to test."

The winter was short and Iannone, in addition to being very idle for some time, has changed everything: bike, championship, team.

“I haven't done many kilometres: here we were supposed to do two days and we only had one. The only productive test was Jerez, I’m taking that setup with me but it doesn't work here. The team and I still have to understand each other as best we can, it's not a banal job - he underlined - There are those who win the World Championship, change bikes and teams and the following year find themselves 10th, imagine me who hasn't raced for 4 years. I'm satisfied, I don't expect more: I said I would sign up to be in the top 10 and I'm there. I have a gap of two and a half tenths from the first, I haven't ridden in these conditions for a long time, everything has changed since the tests, I'm happy. I'm having fun. This first race for me is like a test to understand my level."

But it will still be a weekend to take with a pinch of salt. “This is a particular track, you never brake. Let's wait. We know that Niccolò is riding well, he is young and strong. He won the World Championship last year, we are certainly not finding that out now."


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