Terms of employment
There is a certain amount of surprise around concerning Andrea Iannone’s employment at Aprilia for 2019. Some people are shocked that Suzuki didn’t try to keep him, others that Ducati didn’t want him back. Let me tell you two stories. A few years ago a journalist on his way to Motegi forgot his International Driving Permit. He bowed and presented the hire-car company with a spurious piece of paperwork, got his car and drove off congratulating himself on his cunning. 12 months later he turned up at the same counter to be told they could not rent him a car. Sorry. Suzuki have a similar mindset. Their two-year contract with Iannone started horribly, but the car-hire moment came at Le Mans 2017 when he was overtaken by team mate Sylvain Guintoli, who was replacing the injured Alex Rins. Iannone dropped his lap times by well over a second-and-ahalf. Suzuki wouldn’t tear up their contract, that would have been unthinkable for a company with their attitude. They resolved to grit their teeth and see the second year out. But it wouldn’t matter if he won races, he’d still be out. As it happened his team mate outshone him for most of the time. Go back a year and the car-hire moment with Ducati came when Iannone rammed team mate Andrea Dovizioso in Argentina, scuttling a one-two. I have never seen any team management so angry. The contract extension he was due to sign at the next race was promptly torn up. The moral of the stories is: it’s OK to be an insufferable arse as a factory racer, so long as you’re winning.
Iannone: contract consternation