Ducati’s Iannone Returns in Malaysia
After a seven-week absence from MotoGP due to fracturing his T3 vertebra during the opening free practice of Misano MotoGP, Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone returns this weekend for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit.
Iannone was forced to miss Misano, and the subsequent three rounds at Motorland Aragon, Twin Ring Motegi, and Phillip Island. Ducati Team reports that though the 27-year-old Italian isn’t back to 100-percent fitness, he’ll ride the GP16 to the best of his ability.
This will be Iannone’s third MotoGP start at Sepang; last year he qualified sixth, but suffered a technical issue on lap two that forced a DNF. Heading into the penultimate round, Ianonne is ninth in points with 96 points.
Andrea Iannone will start the Malaysian race for just the third time in MotoGP. Last year the rider from Italy started from the second row after qualifying sixth, but in the race he had a technical problem that brought about his retirement on lap 2.
With two rounds remaining until the end of the championship, Dovizioso lies seventh in the standings with 137 points, while Iannone is in ninth with 96 points.
“I’m very happy to finally be able to return to the track, and I hope it will be a positive weekend for us, even though I know that it won’t be easy because my back is still not quite right,” Iannone says.
“In any case I decided to return to racing here at Sepang, also because it’s quite a struggle for me to sit at home and watch the races on TV and I was desperate to get back: for Ducati, for myself and for all my fans who always support me. I hope to be immediately fast and competitive, even though for sure I will have to understand my condition, my possibilities and my speed. I’m keeping my fingers crossed but we are returning to the track with the aim of obtaining some good results.”
The Malaysian GP gets underway with the opening practice session at 9:55 a.m. local time Friday.