Ducati’s Iannone Out of Motegi MotoGP
During the opening practice session in early September for the San Marino Grand Prix, Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone suffered a high-speed crash at turn 15.
The 27-year-old Italian seemed unhurt, but medical examination revealed that Iannone had fractured his T3 vertebra. Due to the crash, he was forced to miss San Marino MotoGP–the first race he missed since Sepang 2014 when he injured his arm during a practice crash with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.
Iannone was also forced to miss the subsequent round at Aragon two weeks ago, and Ducati confirmed he won’t start this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi’s Twin Ring circuit.
Speaking of the injury, Ducati says last week Iannone underwent a series of checks, which showed that the excess fluid in his back injury had been almost totally absorbed. Though the healing process is well underway, doctors advised him to continue his rehabilitation and wait a few days for complete healing.
Iannone and his team agreed with the doctors, and decided to opt out of Motegi MotoGP. Iannone is confirmed to return to MotoGP during the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island October 21-23. Last year in Australia, Iannone finished third behind Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and winner Marquez.
As for Motegio MotoGP, Ducati will not use a substitute rider, and Andrea Dovizioso will be the only factory rider representing Ducati.
After a horrible start for Iannone, which included four DNFs during the opening seven rounds, Iannone won the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring—it was Ducati’s first win since Casey Stoner completed the feat at Phillip Island in 2010.
Photo by Luciano Bianchetto