Iannone regrets not settling for third after Honda crashes

Ducati's Andrea Iannone says he would have slowed significantly to ensure a podium finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix if he knew rivals Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow crashed out.

Iannone regrets not settling for third after Honda crashes

Iannone, returning after a four-race absence through injury, led nine laps at Sepang, but was one of three riders to crash out of the five-strong leading pack in the second half of the race.

Despite not scoring, the Italian says he returned "in the best way" as he had been unsure whether he could be fighting out front in his comeback race.

He said: "After I ride for more than half the race at the front, I fight Vale [Rossi], I'm very, very happy because I came back after four races and I was not sure I could do this performance.

"I came back in the best way, I think."

Iannone should have had an easy path to the podium after Marquez and Crutchlow fell - with fourth-placed Jorge Lorenzo well adrift - but the Ducati rider ended up crashing shortly after the two Hondas.

"It was possible to arrive in the third position on the podium but I didn't understand that Marc and Cal crashed before me because it's the same lap," Iannone added.

"When I arrive on the straight, [if] I have on my pitboard this message 'Cal and Marc out', for sure I reduce my speed. But I crash in the same lap and it was impossible that I understand this.

"For sure, I had a good advantage over Jorge and it was possible to arrive third. In any case, it's very important for me to come back in this way, ride very well for all the weekend in the dry and wet."

While Iannone didn't get to the chequered flag, teammate Andrea Dovizioso took his first victory in seven years, adding a second Ducati 2016 win to Iannone's triumph at the Red Bull Ring.

"I'm very happy for Ducati, also for Dovi. Finally arrived the victory also for him, yes," said Iannone, who will run his final race as Dovizioso's Ducati teammate in Valencia before departing for Suzuki.

"For sure, I think he'd prefer [to win] in dry conditions. He won in the wet conditions - but the important thing is he won. I'm happy for Ducati and for Dovi."

Missing FP2 contributed to crash

Having sat out the wet-track second practice on Friday so as to reduce risk, Iannone now reckons FP2 mileage could've saved him from crashing out in the race.

Talking through his accident in the left-hander Turn 9 in the grand prix, he said: "I arrived a little bit long, I asked a little bit more on the front tyres and during the braking... and when I went down to try to turn in, I lost the front.

"This problem is because I didn't ride in FP2 on Friday - we wanted to try a different setting to adjust a little bit the grip on the rear, because I asked my crew chief to improve the grip on the rear - but we didn't have time to try this.

"Dovi used a different setting, had a little bit more kilograms on the rear, and this helped for sure in this condition for the grip. We wanted to try but didn't have time. And during the race I didn't want to risk with the setting to start with the bike I never tried before."

Additional reporting by Scherazade Mulia Saraswati

shares
comments
Marquez says Sepang crash different mistake to Australia

Previous article

Marquez says Sepang crash different mistake to Australia

Next article

Crutchlow could tell Dovizioso was the "guy to beat" at Sepang

Crutchlow could tell Dovizioso was the "guy to beat" at Sepang
Load comments
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021