Andrea Iannone and His Revised Ducati, Almost as Fast as Marc Marquez at Mugello

Things are on the move at Ducati, and it seems like the new frame elements the Borgo Panigale machines are being equipped with are definitely doing a good job. The circuit in Mugello hosted another Ducati test, with the manufacturer’s outright fastest rider Andrea Iannone checking the track aboard a test bike and getting really close to Marc Marquez’ pole time in the GP of Italy, earlier this year.
Andrea Iannone 6 photos
Andrea IannoneAndrea IannoneAndrea IannoneAndrea IannoneAndrea Iannone
Iannone’s GP14 test bike has been equipped with what Borgo Panigale calls “underseat mass dampers” and Iannone managed to better his lap times by more than a second. While Marquez lapped around the Mugello track in 1’47.270 on June 1st, Iannone’s time was 1’47.3, technically being unbelievably close to Honda’s performance, and having Ducati about the closest to the top bikes it has been in quite a long time, even during tests.

We don’t know other tech details about Iannone’s ride, such as tires and all, and the time for one flying lap cannot be superimposed over the whole length of a race. However, given the fact that such type of news has been extremely scarce in Ducati’s box, seeing the red machines actually becoming better is a sign that the changes Gigi Dall’Igna started to make are heading in the right direction. And with Iannone also raising the bar in terms of top speed to around 359 km/h (223 mph) around the Mugello track, it looks like he’s getting along quite well with the Ducati, this being a very strong point in his potential step up onto a factory ride in 2015, as rumor has it.

Even though Iannone’s manager has had certain discussions with Suzuki, in case Cal Crutchlow’s factory seat becomes vacant, we might see the young Italian thrilled to continue as a contracted rider for Borgo Panigale alongside Andrea Dovizioso. As for Ducati Corse, it will be a very convenient move, with two Italian riders in the team and even more, two Italian riders who seem to be able to ride their (constantly better) machines to the upper positions in the races.

There’s still more to come from Ducati and Dall’Igna, as the new Corse manager is working hard to come up with a new, smaller 90-degree V4 engine and a different, altogether better bike for 2015. Something tells us that Ducati will throw each of its new, tested parts into the races this year as soon as the turn out to better the racing game.
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