Iannone Penalized with Three Grid Places at the COTA and a Penalty Point

MotoGP Race Direction handed one penalty point to factory Ducati rider Andrea Iannone for the incident that caused the crash of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso in the final turn of the Termas de Rio Hondo race in Argentina, yesterday.
Iannone vs. Dovizioso 1 photo
Photo: YouTube capture
Also, Iannone will be one row further on the starting grid next Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. This penalty is a complementary one the Race Direction hands the Italian rider after analyzing his riding manner in the last turn of the Argentinian race.

Therefore, Iannone will occupy a slot on the grid that is three positions down from whatever place he will be at the end of the qualifying sessions.

"On 3rd April 2016 during the last lap of MotoGP race of the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina, you overtook rider nr.4, in a way much too optimistic, you lost control of your machine resulting in contact and crash of this rider," a Race Direction statement mentions.

Iannone caused the crash, but there was nothing intentional in his move

The incident took place in the final lap of the race, one turn before the finish line. We also reviewed the footage and Iannone can be seen attacking Dovizioso on the inside of turn 13, losing the front and low-siding.

Unfortunately for his teammate, the two bikes were too close to each other, so Iannone's crashed into Dovizioso's Desmosedici GP. Iannone abandoned the race, but Dovizioso tried to restart his bike, knowing that the finish line was around the next corner, dozens of yards away.

His Ducati also failed to restart, but Dovizioso showed exceptional determination to salvage whatever he could. The Italian pushed his motorcycle past the finish line and ended the race last, in the 13th position, still good for three points.

Obviously, his finish is only a minor consolation compared to what both riders and the team lost. We remind you that before the crash, Dovizioso was running in the second position, and his teammate in third. The crash deprived Ducati of a most valuable double podium that could have weighed quite heavily in the early stages of the championship.

Still, it's good to learn that none of the riders were injured in the crash. It will be interesting to see how the factory Ducati machines will fare at the COTA, a circuit with two long straights, of which the longest has 1,200m (3,937 ft). Ducati's acceleration and speed in straight line are two very strong points and they might make a big difference in Austin.

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