The debut in SBK after the disqualification: “I’ve grown. Elodie? I feel great”
He says that getting on the Ducati Panigale V4R of the GoEleven team with which he will race in Superbike in 2024 made him feel like a child again. «Like when my brother Angelo started running at 8 years old and I, who was too young at 6, could only run on Fridays. That enthusiasm is the same as today. In Jerez I just wanted to have fun. The first lap, the first run, the first day. Under the helmet I was laughing like a child. It’s exactly what I was looking for.” Four years out is a long time, but now that the doping disqualification is over, Andrea Iannone is a full-time rider again.
Did you have any doubts about returning?
“I always knew I wanted to come back, yes. However, it wasn’t a given that I could do it, that I could do it.”
How have these years been? The entrepreneurship, the clubs, the next one, Dos Passos, which will open soon in Madrid, have they helped?
“I did my own things even when I was little. Having time, I dedicated myself to my passions. What was I supposed to do? I’m too young to do nothing.”
Have you ever cried at the stop?
“It didn’t make sense. By nature, if I look back I only see the good things. Thinking about the now is my great strength, without wanting things that I can’t have or looking at who is better off. I’ve never forgotten where I come from, so ‘I have lived, friends. I am happy with what I have today.”
Without the disqualification, would you still race in MotoGP?
“Who knows? Maybe I wouldn’t even be here anymore.”
Who is Andrea Iannone today?
“A grown boy, a little more adult, with different awareness, but still a little bit of a child inside.”
Seeing her he is much calmer. Is there also the merit of Elodie, her girlfriend, in this?
“If you ask me how my private life is going, I reply that it’s like when I got back on my motorbike: like God. It’s a great moment for me.”
In Jerez he went strong. The helmet, “I am back,” is right.
“Well, I’m back. But it’s early, I’m with my feet on the ground. To be like before you have to build.”
But it does have some answers.
“I’m honest. It’s difficult for me to be surprised, but this time it happened. I told myself that I’m blessed by God. But don’t worry, it’s early, I don’t have the Ducati in my hand yet. It was just a taste.”
Have you ever thought about MotoGP?
“I don’t like forcing things. If I had done it, things could have gone differently, but what I want is this. I like watching the Superbike. The MotoGP races are wonderful, but I wanted to lightly go back to doing what I love most , to ride. And today the Superbike, and the Ducati, are what I wanted. When I met Gigi (Dall’Igna, DG Corse; ed.) he asked me: “What do you want?”. He knows me, we looked at each other eyes. I replied: ‘I know it will be difficult, but I will give it my all'”.
“Because it is the bike with which I won in MotoGP, where at the beginning I experienced hell but then I reached the pinnacle of love. It is the bike of my life. I found people with whom I shared a lot. For this, in addition to Gigi, I thank Claudio Domenicali, Paolo Ciabatti, Gianni Ramello (No. 1 of GoEleven; ed.) and Dennis Sacchetti (the team manager; ed.). I saw Dennis racing as a child, there is something romantic in starting again with them”.
“They are two tough guys, it will be a fight until the end. Pecco defends the title, he has more pressure and responsibility. Martin’s life is a little easier, if he won with a private team he would go down in history. And this excites him. Where he is lightens, Pecco becomes heavier”.
If Jorge wins, do you see him promoted instead of Bastianini?
The other big theme is Marquez in Ducati. What do you expect?
“He will create chaos immediately, we will already be there at the first race. It’s his way of racing, it’s the truth.”
So can we expect a powder keg Ducati in 2024?
“In Ducati they have experience and if Marquez exaggerates it will be to his detriment. It’s true that he can go fast, but it won’t be easy. I see Bezzecchi as quite embittered, Pecco, in a different way, too, Martin is tough, and Morbidelli will go fast in Pramac “.
And what will you do in Australia on your Superbike debut?
“I hope for points. How long has it been since I raced? I have no expectations.”
“No. But I think about it every day.”
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