After two podiums and strong battles at the front of the field in the 2018 MotoGP season before the summer break, there are good signs for the second half of the season in this Blog/ Q&A, as Andrea Iannone explains.
After a difficult year in 2017, it seems that your feeling with the bike has improved a lot. What has changed to improve this relationship with the GSX-RR and take a step forward?
“Yes, unfortunately last year – as we have said many times – was a very difficult year. This season we have already started in a different way. In the third race we started to go very well, and I must say that right now, in the middle of the season, we are satisfied with the results obtained. Even if in some situations we could have achieved something more. But seeing where we have come from, we are giving our best and we have good potential.”
And what do you still have to improve to make that final leap and aim for bigger objectives?
“I sincerely believe that we still have some small details, especially how to manage the second part of the race, because that is the part that ruins my performance a bit during the weekend, after going well during all the practice and qualifying sessions.”
From a technical point of view, how has the bike changed with respect to the GSX-RR that was found in 2017?
“I think the bike has changed a lot, and for the better. And that is a big thing. Now the bike can bend a little better, accelerate better, it is more complete in all aspects and all these improvements allow us to make a difference and improve significantly. In addition, this year we started with an engine that has improved our performance compared to 2017. Now the bike can bend a little better, accelerate better, it is more complete in all aspects.”
You have been in MotoGP for some years now. Have you discovered anything in your riding style that was not there before, something that has changed in the last two years?
“ If I tell you the truth, every time I get on a motorcycle I can confirm that I’m still a fast rider. Sometimes when you are in crisis you may have moments of doubt, you can make a thousand different changes on the bike but, in the end, they do not help you. It was said that I should adapt more to the Suzuki, but it has been shown that when the bike was improved I could be strong again. And in the end, this has also helped my team-mate. I am happy with how I am as a rider, although I would like to always improve and squeeze out all my potential.”
Which has been the best race this year for you?
“ Surely Austin. Although, honestly, the race in Mugello was beautiful, especially as it was exciting until the end. In Mugello we were in the fight for the podium with Valentino along with Alex, and performing well in front of all of Italy. Unfortunately, in the end, Valentino seemed to have something more than us and could get ahead. But I think these two races were the most special of the season. But the championship is long, and I think there will be more beautiful races still to come…”
What can you aspire to with this bike?
“I could aspire to everything if, above all, I suffered less in the second half of the race. And this aspect is costing me a lot, more than my teammate. I think the potential is very high, but it should still be there when the tyres start to wear out. This is the area where we are working more now in my side of the garage.”
How do you see the next 10 rounds that remain until the end of the Championship?
“I don’t know…this year we have improved a lot on all circuits. I am not a pessimist, on the contrary, I think we are always in a position to do well. If I think that way, I think Phillip Island in Australia is a very positive circuit for us. Of the rest I do not think there is a particularly bad one. Last year we were very competitive in the second part of the Championship.”
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