IANNONE ON HIS RETURN: "Best feeling ever… the first five laps were just fun!"

Tuesday, 31 October 2023 17:27 GMT

The Italian made his first appearance on a WorldSBK machine at Jerez as he linked up with Team GoEleven for the first time

Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) made his on-track return on Tuesday at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto as he debuted with his 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship team. Linking up with Independent Ducati outfit Team GoEleven, ‘The Maniac’ was one of several Ducati riders at the test as he looked to get a good feeling with the Panigale V4 R ahead of his WorldSBK race debut which will come at Phillip Island next year.

BACK ON TRACK: Iannone with GoEleven for the first time

Iannone completed 26 laps on day one at Jerez as he rode the Panigale V4 R for the first time in WorldSBK spec. His best time was a 1’41.922s as he finished in 11th place, with the riders choosing not to test after midday local time as the rain started to fall; but not heavy enough to gain any valuable wet weather running. The #29, sporting a helmet that read “I’m back”, was 2.085s down on Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) at the top of the timesheets, while he was six tenths down on Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) – the Ducati rider closest to him.

Evaluating his first day with the team, Iannone said: “I’m really happy. I exited the pitlane to ride a race bike and this is a really good feeling for me. Unfortunately for the weather today but, in any case, I felt very comfortable with everybody, in the paddock and especially in the team. Here in the garage, the feeling is really good. I think today is a little bit of everything, a bit confusing! After a long time, I’ve come back and the feeling with the bike is really good. At Jerez, on the first lap, I thought ‘wow, one more time I’m at this track!’. The first five laps were just fun.”

DAY TWO PLAN: weather dependent… 

With the weather interrupting day one, all eyes are on the skies overnight and on Wednesday morning to see what running will be possible. The hope for everyone is to have dry weather and get a full day of running in but as noted from FP1 on Friday for the Spanish Round, the circuit can take a while to dry out. Iannone addressed what his plan is for the second day of action but stressed that it would depend on the weather.

Expanding on the testing programme, Iannone said: “We will decide on our plan later but it’s good if we ride. We only have 10 days of testing and so maybe we don’t use one because I need track time in the dry. We’ll see the weather and the condition of the track when I arrive. The most important thing right now is that we are here, and we have the possibility to ride. This is the best feeling ever.”

Catch up on the key moments from day one HERE and get instant reaction and highlights using the WorldSBK VideoPass!