Ian­none leads Du­cati charge

| Du­cati scorch to a sen­sa­tional one-two in Aus­tria af­ter mas­sive last-gasp gam­ble on softer tyres

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON IN AUS­TRIA MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

Just sec­onds be­fore the field screeched off on the warm-up lap An­drea Ian­none de­cided to change tyres. He switched from the medium fronts and hard rear Miche­lins used by al­most the en­tire grid, to a soft front and medium rear. It was a huge risk, but it paid off as the Ital­ian was able to stay with the lead­ers in the early stages of the race and then power away from his team-mate An­drea Dovizioso for a con­clu­sive win in the clos­ing laps.

It was Du­catiõs first Mo­togp vic­tory in six years Ð and only their third onetwo re­sult in their GP his­tory. Ian­none ad­mit­ted af­ter the race that he had ig­nored the ad­vice of his Miche­lin tech­ni­cians and Du­cati crew.

He ex­plained: ÒMY engi­neers asked on the grid Ôbut why? Why do you want the soft?õ Ev­ery­one else used the hard, but I rode on Satur­day with the soft, and I thought it would be a good de­ci­sion. But it was­nõt easy when peo­ple are telling me the de­ci­sion is wrong!

Òbut I worked on Satur­day with both tyres, soft and hard, and for me the hard one had a big drop in grip af­ter six or seven laps, and it be­came very dif­fi­cult to man­age on the right side. I tried a run with the softer one in free prac­tice four, and I fin­ished 22 laps with my last laps at a good pace.

ÒI talked with my engi­neers and with Miche­lin when I came back into the box, and I ex­plained that I thought the softer tyres were bet­ter for the race. Miche­lin did­nõt agree at the time, but I be­lieve in me! I de­cided at the be­gin­ning to start like ev­ery­one else, but at the last minute I went with what I knew would work, and I think it was a good strat­egy!ó

And the gam­ble paid off, as he romped home to his first vic­tory in the premier class and Du­catiõs first win since Casey Stoner at Phillip Is­land in 2010 Ð some­thing that he said made the vic­tory that much sweeter.

ÒITÕS a very beau­ti­ful mo­ment for me Ð mag­i­cal. Not just for me, but for Du­cati too. Weõve come back af­ter six years to win; but not only that, weõve come back af­ter Casey Stoner. Heõs a very fast rider, and that makes this even more spe­cial.

ÒITÕS an in­cred­i­ble emo­tion. The first vic­tory for me in Mo­togp is very im­por­tant. Iõve won a lot of races in the Moto2 class, but in GP it is a dif­fer­ent story. Here, you fight with the best rid­ers ever Ð with Vale, Jorge and Dovi. It helps me be­lieve a lit­tle more in my po­ten­tial too and it should help me get even bet­ter.ó

And while it was widely ac­knowl­edged by nearly ev­ery­one on the Mo­togp grid go­ing into the week­end that the Red Bull Ring would of­fer Du­cati the best chance of a win, the 27-year-old says that thereõs no rea­son that their suc­cess has to stop in Aus­tria as the se­ries moves on to the Czech Repub­lic this week­end.

ÒI think Brno is a very pos­i­tive track for us. We had good po­ten­tial there last year, and I fin­ished fourth even with a tech­ni­cal prob­lem. With­out that, there was a strong chance of fight­ing for the podium. Af­ter this race and this win, and even af­ter Sach­sen­ring, An­drea and I have a very good chance now. Itõs pos­si­ble to stay on top for the rest of the sea­son.ó

Ian­none went his own way with tyres and ended up with his maiden vic­tory Du­cati left their ri­vals trail­ing at the Aus­trian track

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