WIPE OUT

DU­CATI DIS­AS­TER Du­cati team bosses join Dovizioso in slam­ming Ian­none af­ter last-cor­ner mo­ment of mad­ness

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Fac­tory Du­cati rider Andrea Ian­none lived up to the ‘ma­niac’ nick­name he has em­bla­zoned across the back of his leathers when a mo­ment of mad­ness saw him wipe out team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in the very last cor­ner of Sun­day’s Ar­gen­tinian Mo­togp race.

It was a move that cost Du­cati dearly and could have a se­ri­ous im­pact on the young Ital­ian’s im­mi­nent con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions. With Jorge Lorenzo strongly linked to a switch to Du­cati next sea­son (see page 74), cur­rent riders Ian­none and Dovizioso could well both be fight­ing for just one seat in the squad.

For Dovizioso, Ian­none’s move was un­ac­cept­able. On course for sec­ond po­si­tion in the race Dovi would have been sec­ond in the cham­pi­onship stand­ings, just one point be­hind new leader Marc Mar­quez, and the usu­ally mild-man­nered Ital­ian was quick to hit out.

“I didn’t know if it was Valentino or Ian­none be­hind me, but when I felt the touch I im­me­di­ately knew it was Ian­none. As I was slid­ing along, I re­alised that I’d ex­pected some­thing like that to hap­pen. We’ve worked hard over the past two years, and we cre­ated a re­ally good bike to­gether – so to lose the points like this is un­ac­cept­able.”

Dovizioso wasn’t the only one within the team to pour crit­i­cism on Ian­none, with Du­cati Corse team prin­ci­pal Paolo Ci­a­batti go­ing on the record to speak of how frus­trated he was to lose the op­por­tu­nity for one of the firm’s best week­ends in years, fol­low­ing Chaz Davies’ WSB dom­i­na­tion at Aragon on the Pani­gale.

“When you are close to hav­ing both riders on the podium af­ter such an event­ful week­end, you are tast­ing the cham­pagne and then it’s a big dis­ap­point­ment – all be­cause one of the two riders in­vol­un­tar­ily makes a mis­take.

“There are 16 races to go and they are Du­cati riders. Try­ing to pass your team-mate is fine, but you shouldn’t take too many risks in the last cor­ner to get one po­si­tion.”

Ci­a­batti is a vastly ex­pe­ri­enced mem­ber of Du­cati’s man­age­ment and knows full well the pres­sure each rider is un­der. The spec­u­la­tion over Lorenzo join­ing the team no doubt raised the stakes even higher, but ul­ti­mately he be­lieves that for both riders, who share the same goal to win, the pres­sure is com­ing from within.

“I think they would have done it any­way – they are team-mates on com­pet­i­tive bikes! Ian­none has never won a Mo­togp race, and Dovi won in Don­ing­ton in spe­cial con­di­tions, so for them get­ting a win is their tar­get. They know they have a com­pet­i­tive bike and they have a chance to achieve that re­sult.”

Af­ter be­ing wiped out, Dovi picked his bike up out of the gravel and pushed it across the fin­ish line to se­cure 13th place and score three valu­able points which means he holds fifth in the stand­ings. De­spite the set­back, Dovi was still able to see the pos­i­tives – pos­i­tives that will no doubt be wor­ry­ing for their Ja­panese ri­vals.

“I was able to catch Valentino and beat him! And we had the abil­ity to fin­ish sec­ond in the race. Those are the pos­i­tives and thank­fully now we get an­other race very soon at a very nice track, where we can prove our speed un­der dif­fer­ent con­di­tions.”

In ad­di­tion to feel­ing the wrath of his team, Ian­none be­came the first Mo­togp rider to be pe­nalised un­der Mo­togps new dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dure. He will start next week­end’s Austin race with a three-place grid penalty.

10 : 25

15 : 30

No won­der they call him Ma­niac Joe Du­cati were al­most cer­tain to take two podi­ums and then this hap­pened Rossi wastes no time in tak­ing ad­van­tage It’s a tan­gle of red bikes and red leathers

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