MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Maniac by name…
…maniac by nature. What’s the beef with Austrian GP winner Andrea Iannone?
I like Andrea Iannone. There, I said it. I like him because he is MotoGP’s pantomime villain, a bit like Captain Hook in Peter Pan.
He fitted the role particularly well after he secured pole position on Saturday, strutting and pouting his way around parc fermé like he owned the place, which he kind of did.
Iannone is red in tooth and claw, which is great, unless you have to share a racetrack with the guy; like Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo, who he torpedoed in Argentina and at Catalunya, and Eugene Laverty, who he very nearly took out during practice in Austria. And don’t forget the unfortunate seagull at Phillip Island last year…
The 27-year-old Italian has never had any pretensions about being the good guy. Just a few weeks ago on social media he threatened to kill anyone who causes him bother. I can only hope he was talking murder metaphorically, especially if he ends up reading this.
Iannone has always been badly behaved. He first came to the notice of many people at Misano in 2009, when he took out 125cc race-leader Pol Espargaro and himself with a maniac move (now there’s a surprise) at the final corner. When the pair fronted up to each other in the gravel trap Iannone head-butted his victim for good measure, then declared on live Italian TV, “I hate all Spanish people”. He was fined several thousand Euros for these misdemeanours.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.