Andrea Iannone was to be the next Alien. Throughout his career in MotoGP, he has shown that he has plenty of talent, having bagged five podiums since his ascension into the factory Ducati team. But his decision making has always been questioned, Iannone having a history of rash moves.
All that seemed to change in 2015, with the Italian showing a new found maturity all year. His risk assessment was better, not making moves that would probably not come off, and settling for available points rather than throwing a good result away.
Some people, including myself, put the difference down to the shoulder injury he was carrying, making him think a fraction longer before acting. Whatever the cause, the end result was a fifth place in the 2015 championship.
Having been given the chance to heal over the winter, his shoulder is much stronger in 2016. Iannone’s decision making, however, is now much worse. The Italian stands eighth in the championship, despite having racked up two podiums in nine races.
Canceling out those two podiums are four DNFs, all of them due to mistakes of his own making. That also includes one of the most boneheaded moves in recent history, torpedoing his teammate Andrea Dovizioso on the very last lap in Argentina, when the pair of them were on for a double Ducati podium.
Up until that moment, Iannone was odds on favorite to retain the factory Ducati seat alongside Jorge Lorenzo. After that incident, talks on a future contract were immediately suspended, though Iannone then redeemed himself at the next race in Austin with a podium.
It was not enough, Ducati went for Dovizioso, and Iannone swore revenge.
Since signing for Suzuki, Iannone has been going all out for results. His modus operandi has not changed: do whatever it takes to get further forward, and worry about mistakes afterwards.
That has caused him to crash out unnecessarily twice more since Argentina, while taking out Jorge Lorenzo in the process at Barcelona. There is no reason to expect anything different from Andrea Iannone in the second half of the season.
But Iannone’s fundamental problem remains the same. The Italian is naturally exceptionally fast. But he lacks the critical thinking to turn natural talent into wins and championships.
Photo: © 2016 Tony Goldsmith / www.tonygoldsmith.net – All Rights Reserved
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.