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Eazi Grip

Andrea Iannone is back with a podium for Team Go Eleven

Friday Practice

The light rain and the very strong wind changed the plans of the Teams and Riders for this first Friday of the season. A few laps in the dry were carried out, looking for a fast laptime, without paying attention to the race distance, partly due to the highly variable weather, partly because with the inclusion of the mandatory flag to flag, the drop in the Pirelli tyres will be less influential.

Right at the green flag of FP 1, a heavy rain wet the 4,445 meters of the Australian circuit, forcing the protagonists to remain in the pits for more than half of the session. The asphalt here dries really quickly, also thanks to the strong gusts of wind, an aspect that allowed riders to make the most of the final ten minutes of the session. Andrea Iannone immediately showed a good feeling, confirming the positive things that appeared on Tuesday at the end of the test. P 6, below the target of 30.0.

Free Practice 1: 
P 1   A. Locatelli   1.29.197
P 2   A. Lowes   + 0.106
P 3   S. Lowes   + 0.520
P 4   R. Gardner   + 0.558
P 5   A. Iannone   + 0.688

In FP 2 the script is very similar to the morning session; rain a few moments before the start, increasing wind and riders forced into the pits for a large part of the session. In the finale, on dry asphalt, the number 29 managed to complete five consecutive laps, with the best on the last one. Sixth position of the session, seventh in the combined, but what matters most is that the gap from the top is close, just over two tenths. Unfortunately the weather did not allow the scheduled work to be carried out, thus maintaining a basic set-up during Friday at Phillip Island.

Free Practice 2:
P 1   A. Lowes   1.29.042
P 2   N. Bulega   + 0.059
P 3   D. Petrucci   + 0.195

P 6   A. Iannone   + 0.281

Tomorrow hides many tricks and there will be several unknowns; in qualifying we will show up without having had the opportunity to test the SC0, and immediately afterwards a race with a mandatory pit stop will follow. It’s getting closer and closer to the first real race day of the year!

Andrea Iannone (Rider): 

“It was a hard day, the weather didn’t help and, due to quite wet conditions, we didn’t do much in the morning and in the afternoon. I don’t feel 100% satisfied because I know I didn’t make the most of our potential. We’ll go into qualifying with some unknowns, we would have needed to try a set-up that could have helped us with the soft tyre. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow, but from a race perspective I feel quite calm.”

Saturday Qualifying and Race One

What happened on Saturday at Phillip Island was incredible; a good result could have been possible after the positive winter, but hitting the front row in Qualifying and on the Podium after four years of stopping is something that goes beyond all expectations. Andrea Iannone brings the Ducati Go Eleven back to the podium in Race 1, something that hasn’t happened since the 2021 season, with a race at the top, several laps leading the group and decisive overtaking!

In FP 3, the different weather compared to yesterday, with less wind and less grip on the asphalt, made some difficulties for the Go Eleven technicians and Andrea, encountering some complications on the rear at the end of the session.

Free Practice 3: 
P 1   N. Bulega    1.28.716
P 2   T. Razgatlioglu   + 0.003
P 3   A. Locatelli   + 0.007

P 11   A. Iannone   + 0.640

It was said since the tests, the Superpole should have proved to be the most hard moment of the weekend, since until today the rider from Vasto had always suffered the soft tyre; until today, in fact. With the first attempt he hits the Top 6, with the second he finds the right slipstream in front and drops by almost a second. 1.28 low, second position on the grid, just over two tenths behind Bulega, the poleman. An extraordinary, heart-pounding ride. A decisive step when needed.

Superpole:
P 1   N. Bulega   1.27.916
P 2   A. Iannone   + 0.238
P 3   A. Lowes   + 0.323

Race 1, perhaps Andrea Iannone’s race will be realized in a few days. Incredible start, several laps in the lead, overtaking, brakings, perfect flag to flag and lots of determination; all this more than four years after the last race of the number 29. Those who saw the race, present on the circuit and elsewhere, could only have been amazed and speechless in front of such a day. Today the team worked perfectly, with the pressure of a tyre change being decisive for the result. The potential was even greater, but Go Eleven technicians have already identified the areas in which they could work on. Enjoy this extraordinary day Andrea, but tomorrow there are two more races, two more battles to face!

Race 1: 
P 1   N. Bulega   30’55.801
P 2   A. Locatelli   + 2.280
P 3   A. Iannone   + 2.630

Andrea Iannone (Rider): 

“Qualifying was fantastic, starting from the front was exciting. I’m happy, but I want to keep my feet on the ground. We also have to evaluate which aspects didn’t go as we hoped and try to improve them in view of tomorrow. I thank Ducati in the person of Gigi Dall’Igna, Claudio Domenicali, Paolo Ciabatti, Marco Zambenedetti and the whole Go Eleven team for the support. Special thanks also to the WorldSBK family. I see a lot of support from people and this is the most important.”

Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager): 
“What can you say… facts speak louder than words, Andrea has an extraordinary talent and today he made me emotional. I believe that what he is experiencing and demonstrating to the world is something special, today he led the race for several laps, he pulled off a sensational lap in Superpole, then being the podium. For Go Eleven it is something unique to be back on the podium, we hope to get some more satisfaction tomorrow!”

Sunday Superpole Race and Race Two

Looking at the pre-event Thursday, anyone would have signed up to go home with a fourth and a third place and P3 in the Championship on equal points with Locatelli; but today perhaps it is more the disappointment and regret of having missed at least one great chance.

In the Superpole Race, a mix of emotions hit the Go Eleven team and Andrea Iannone. He was in the lead for half the race, then when it seemed like a gap could open up, the classic and unexpected technical problem, left handlebar grip came off and in the meantime the suit’s airbag opened. The rider from Vasto tried to find a temporary solution, trying to reinsert it, a very difficult operation at over 300 km per hour, but was unable to do so. From that moment on he could no longer push, so he could only finish the race. Missed opportunity, very high regret within the whole team. It’s even more disappointing since the feeling is that Andrea really could have finished in the podium area.

Superpole Race: 
P 1   A. Lowes    15’00.995
P 2   A. Locatelli   + 1.157
P 3   T. Razgatlioglu   + 1.738

P 14   A. Iannone   + 7.814

Race 2 starts with a notable delay due to oil on track after the Australian National Championship; lower temperatures and fresh wind which further alters the conditions compared to the Superpole Race. Andrea starts tenth, following the inconvenience that occurred in the morning. Three incredible laps, in which he makes overtakings, attacks, different lines to get into the leading group; he makes good use of the moment of chaos generated by Toprak’s failure and jumps to third place with a double overtaking in Turn 1. Red flag for the crash that occurred to Rea, then, when the race restarts Andrea doesn’t find the same feeling with the rear tyre, losing a lot in the left corners. However, he remains in the fight for the podium and in the final he tries to defend himself from the return of Danilo Petrucci. He made a spectacular double attack on Rinaldi and the Barni Racing rider at the start of the last lap, but the podium went for a couple of cents.

Race 2:
P 1   A. Lowes   16’27.565
P 2   A. Bautista   + 0.048
P 3   D. Petrucci   + 1.178
P 4   A. Iannone   + 1.275

Certainly not a very lucky day on Sunday at Phillip Island for Team Go Eleven. The first round of the season ends with a hint of bitterness in the mouth. But just the thought of being slightly disappointed after two amazing races, always with the front group, in the first real race, gives you an idea of how the bike-box-rider package is working in the right direction. A bit of rest, perhaps enjoying the replicas of the races more calmly, and then it will be time for Barcelona, the second round of the season, preceded by a two-day test on the Catalan track!

Andrea Iannone (Rider): 

“This morning in the Superpole Race, we were in the right place, I was in the lead, I think we could have finished the race in a completely different way but a technical problem stopped us. I felt very good in the race, I was quite fast and had recovered a lot of positions, then with the red flag and the change of the rear tyre I didn’t find the same feeling as the first start and I struggled with the grip when entering the corners. We still reached fourth place, we return home with a podium in the first race of the year after a long time and with valuable information for the team. We could definitely have achieved more but it’s all experience for the team. I want to thank Ducati for the support, my team and the people who contributed to my return making it possible. Now let’s think about Barcelona!”

Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager): 
“We can’t say we’re not happy because it was a positive weekend and we returned to the podium. Andrea surprised everyone, I don’t think anyone expected to see him already so strong and I have to congratulate him! Unfortunately in the Superpole Race we had a technical problem, things that shouldn’t happen, but it happened and we missed an important opportunity! In race two he was going very fast, the feeling was that we could fight for the victory, then on the restart after the red flag, the new tyre didn’t work in the same way as the first one and Andrea gave his all, finishing fourth in the sprint with Petrucci. We’re going home satisfied and even more excited for future races!”

Posted on Monday, February 26th, 2024 in News

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