Iannone optimistic after Jerez test: "My race pace was quite good; we were always in the 1’39s"

Thursday, 25 January 2024 17:59 GMT

The Italian rookie was rapid throughout both days of testing, with both his one-lap and race pace, despite a small crash at Turn 2

Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) continues to impress as he gears up for his rookie MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign. ‘The Maniac’ was on his Independent Panigale V4 R for the second time and he secured a spot in the top five on Day 2 with eyes turning towards Iannone’s garage following impressive performances at Jerez in both the end-of-season test and the first test of 2024, including taking fifth at Jerez.

Iannone was quick on Day 1 as well as he finished inside the top ten and he backed that up on Day 2 with fifth place. He posted a 1’38.744s to claim P5 with 61 laps to his name, finishing just over nine tenths down on Nicolo Bulega ( Racing – Ducati) after he set lap record place. Iannone was around half-a-second down on the actual lap record, with only Bulega beating it and most riders a few tenths or more away from it.

Discussing his test, Iannone said: “It wasn’t so bad. It’s our goal and focus to improve day by day. Today, we changed something on the bike, and we went a different way compared to yesterday. In the end, I’m quite happy. I need more kilometres, need to have more experience with the bike, the team and the tyres, but I think we finished the first test of the year in a good way. We’re not so far away. I think I did my best lap with the SCX tyre, so we are more or less the best rider! We struggled a little bit with the SCQ. I tried one Q tyre today, but we weren’t ready, the bike changed a lot, and I didn’t have experience. We’ll try it one more time at Portimao to change the setup a little bit and so the team understands what I want with this tyre. I used the race tyre well, but not the SCQ.”

Despite having a positive overall day, including a good outright lap time and the #29 referencing his race pace, there was some disruption. A small crash in the first half of the day disrupted his running slightly and Iannone explained what caused his spill, with the Italian able to return to the track after the crash and continue working on his return to action.

Discussing his race pace, where, in an 11-lap stint, he was only slower than the 1’39s on the first and last laps, as well as the crash, Iannone said: “I think my race pace was quite good. I don’t know about everybody else. We tried more or less a half race distance today and we, apart from the first laps, were always in the 1’39s. I think it’s good, but I think it’s a little bit early to understand everything and to say that we’re okay. At Turn 2, when I exited from the box and pit lane, I lost the front at 2km/h!”.

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