Eazi Grip

From Jerez to Portimao for Andrea Iannone and Team Go Eleven

Day 1

The ups and downs of the Algarve, a track full of adrenaline, but at the same difficult and complicated to ride, hosted the riders of the Superbike World Championship on track for the two days of testing. Andrea made his debut on a racing motorbike in Portimao today, first of all he had to understand the references and lines of the track. The many blind turns and bumps were a further increase in the difficulty coefficient, especially in the first laps.

Team Go Eleven started from the base found in Jerez, inserting some changes that will be found on the 2024 version of the bike. The morning, however, proved to be rather complicated, a V4-R that was not perfect in set-up and electronics made Andrea’s debut in Portimao even harder. The comparison between the two bikes in the box, one in the race version for next season and a more “hybrid” one derived from last year, brought positive comments for the former; good news for the first race. In the afternoon the general feeling improved, focusing the work on the used tyres; many laps, the best references always came on the second or third run, and it was used just a unique soft tyre, unfortunately not fully exploited.

The gap is not wide, the riders are all within a few tenths, and the speed is there, but we need to find the harmony again, shown in Jerez, which was missing today, between the number 29 and his Ducati Panigale V4-R. Some additional difficulties due to the new track were expected, but now it is important to give back a good feeling in the rider’s hands. There is still a whole day left, tomorrow, where following the technical debrief with the team, some areas of intervention have already been identified.

Portimao Test – Day 1 Results: 
P 1   N. Bulega   1.39.913
P 2   T. Razgatlioglu   + 0.094
P 3   J. Rea   + 0.148

P 17   A. Iannone   + 1.295

Andrea Iannone (Rider):

“It was a hard day, we had setup problems in terms of electronics with one of the two motorbikes we have here, we have to understand in which areas we can work on tomorrow, trying to improve the feeling. It was a very frustrating day, among the most complicated since I returned to the track. Our second bike is way better but today we couldn’t use it, since it’s the one we’ll use from the first race onwards.”

Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):

“Today was a bit of a strange day, where we faced unexpected problems. Andrea was on his first time on this circuit, it’s a hard and challenging one, in reality he had only done a few laps with the standard bike at the start month. Although not being comfortable with the bike, Andrea still made a good pace with the hard race tyre, however we still have to understand how to exploit the potential of the soft tyres.”

Day 2

Second day of testing from Portimao, where Team Go Eleven had the goal of improving the feeling and reaction of the bike in Andrea’s hands. The start immediately felt good, the rider from Vasto immediately replicated the best reference set yesterday. Lots of laps on used tyres today too, despite number twenty-nine still having several problems in terms of electronics and set-up during the morning.

The afternoon begins with a big change to the geometries of the Panigale V4-R by Go Eleven, which seems to immediately give better feedback to the rider. With the 800, the tyre solution halfway between hard and soft, he manages to complete a series of laps in sequence, where the best comes out at the end. Moving on to the softer tyres, however, the time attack is lacking. The main area to work on is to fully exploit the potential of the SCX and SCQ, the tyres used in qualifying during the season. Speaking instead of pace, even at the end of these two days, we can say that the consistency has remained and indeed, the more the bike loses grip, the more Andrea feels at ease.

Portimao Test – Combined Results: 
P 1   T. Razgatlioglu   1.39.189
P 2   N. Bulega   + 0.086
P 3   A. Lowes   + 0.332

P 17   A. Iannone   + 1.465

Now it’s time to fly to Australia, the first race of the season; between Jerez and Portimao there were two interesting and intense tests, where Iannone began to understand the tyres and the bike’s reaction to the changes; a first path has been traced, now all that remains is to understand by direct comparison on the track what the level will be. Despite some difficulties along the way, number twenty-nine is excited and motivated and can’t wait to get on track with the Ducati at Phillip Island!

Andrea Iannone (Rider):

“Today there was certainly an evolution in terms of pace, we became more effective, a little more competitive. I set my best time with a used tyre of 15/16 laps, 1.40.6, I’m happy of this. Instead, I need to better understand how to make more use of a softer tyre to be more effective. This is the last test in Europe before Australia, we still have a lot of work to do, but I think there is an excellent starting point and this gives me hope. I’m excited, we’ll see at Phillip Island what we can do.”

Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):

“In these tests, Portimao made our life a little complicated. It is certainly a very hard track to ride at the first outings. Today Andrea immediately improved his feeling, I’m not too worried about the race distance as often the best chrono came on used tyres, but we still have to understand how to fully exploit the extragrip on new tyres. The two days here, however, proved to be fundamental, both to allow the rider to understand the bike’s reactions to the changes, and to provide more knowledge of the tyres. Now let’s re-analyse all the data and leave for Australia, I can’t wait!”

Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2024 in News

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