Andrea Iannone Laps Mugello Faster Than Rossi In Three-Day Test

After two days mostly lost to rain, Andrea Iannone finally got to spend some serious time on board the factory Ducati at Mugello, as the Italian completed a three-day test generally regarded as an audition for Ducati Junior team to be run by Pramac in 2013. Iannone made good use of his time, eventually lapping the iconic Italian circuit in 1'48.3, a time that would have been fast enough to qualify him in 10th place on the grid for this year's race, and two tenths faster than Valentino Rossi's qualifying time. Though the time was impressive, it was still some way off the time set by Nicky Hayden, the Factory Ducati man posting a time of 1'47.671 during qualifying for the Mugello race. But Hayden was not the fastest Ducati at Mugello back in July: Hector Barbera lapped in 1'47.565, a quarter of a second off the pole time set by Dani Pedrosa. But for Iannone to be lapping within a second of the pole on just his first proper test with the Ducati team is impressive.

Speaking to the official MotoGP.com website, Iannone pronounced himself pleased with the test. "I wasn't expecting this kind of lap time," Iannone admitted, describing himself as 'quite happy' with the test, while commenting that the bike was quite difficult to ride. He had impressed Ducati Corse chief Filippo Prezioso as well, the engineering boss also present at the test. He had worked well with the factory test team, and got a good feel for the bike and for the team.

Though an announcement that Iannone will be joining the Ducati Junior team for next season seems imminent, Iannone was careful to point out that no announcement has been made yet. But his plans were no secret, he told MotoGP.com: "Anyone can guess where I'll be next year." Iannone is expected to be racing alongside Texan Ben Spies in the Ducati Junior team. Pramac looks set to run the team, but they will have very close ties to the Ducati factory, and will be running machines very close in spec to the factory team.

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Comments

That is very impressive. I would love to see this guy in MotoGP. He's fast but crashes quite a lot, but Stoner and Marquez have shown that it's a lot easier to stop crashing than to be faster.

Total votes: 100

Amazing laptime really, especially considering that track would be very greasy after 2 days of rain and only himself (or was someone else riding there?) to clean the track up again. Getting a time like that straight away bodes well for the future Iannone/Ducati relationship, assuming he signs.

Ducati are trading Rossi, Abraham & Barbera for Dovi, Spies and Iannone. Looking like a very good trade already, assuming their Junior team pans out like that

Total votes: 128

Being that he's done quite well on the Pramac, where does he go? There has been minimal word on where he'll end up for next year.

Total votes: 120

For what its worth Rossi`s fastest lap over the Mugello race weekend was 1`48.3 during warm up on the Sunday morning. But that takes nothing away from Iannone`s impressive lap time.
Seem to remember Scott Redding saying he was as fast as VR for the first half a lap at Mugello, when he had a try out on the Ducati.
Though we don't need any reminder to how bad VR has got on with the Ducati, it certainly drums it home with how fast these `rookies`are on the GP12.
With Marquez,Smith and hopefully Iannone moving up to the premier class, it will make next season most interesting. And of course can Rossi regain his previous form on the Yamaha to compete at the sharp end of the field ?
My only disappointment is that Pol Espargaro wont be moving up to join them.

Total votes: 112

Cmon Suzuki and BMW.... can you please get in the game!? We have lot of fast riders. We need bikes. Fast bikes... not CRT crap. Nothing against CRT riders... but I do hate CRT bikes in MotoGP. Stupid idea.

Total votes: 140

I do not see the point. So what if there would be 12 bike grid? When do you see them in the race? On the start, when somebody crashes or when 1st/2nd riders are overtaking them for one lap and two times in the race if nothing interesting happens in the front. An that is it. What is the point? To have bikes just for a sake of numbers?

Total votes: 119

Money and sponsorship is on the low with bad economy (granted Dorna had heavily relied on Spanish/Italian market & manufacturers to sustain the championship). CRT provides an option for privateers to race in the premier class, though it is actually a class within it's own. Without these privateers signing on (well, some teams were "led on"), we may lose these privateers & racers for good. I do not think the CRT has no exposure, because some of them had stir some up interest, like Danilo & Yonny.

Part of me thinks if MotoGP had stayed 2 strokes, the grid could had been way healthier with cheaper machines, but without much manufacturers interest/investment, isn't it pretty much the same as a full CRT grid?

Pure prototypes are cool....but if the money is not there, it will not happen. Have to look forward & adapt. We used to read race reports in magazines, now it's as simple as clicking/typing on a browser for the latest information. Pretty cool huh?

Total votes: 112

Sorry but we have CRT racing already. It is called WSBK. Carbon brakes and some fancy stuff dont make difference. Especially when MotoGP specific tires make CRT bikes slower then SBK bikes, which should be slower.

And lets make copy/paste about CRT:

"Gresini Honda rider Michele Pirro and Speed Master rider Mattia Pasini both expressed frustration recently with the no man's land in which CRT places a young rider. Pirro said he was investigating World Superbike rides for next season, while fellow Italian Pasini - who may lose his Speed Master ride to Federico Sandi before the next race at Misano - admitted he is considering a return to Moto2 for a chance to ride a competitive bike.

"I'd almost run again in Moto2 just to get back to winning or fight for it because it is difficult to go on like this," Pasini said to Italian media.

That's probably a sentiment shared by almost every CRT rider, young and old."

So really why we have CRT?

What is next?

Add 50cc scooters to Moto2?

CRT is stupid idea.

And about money and new teams. There would be a lot more teams on the grid if rules would be at least digestible.

BMW would be in MotoGP by now. They have tested bikes for MotoGP but in the meantime they have become obsolete coz Dorna changes the rules every year.

Total votes: 106

...the reason why CRT seems stupid because at the moment, MotoGP is presently a 2 tier championship consisting of full on prototypes and CRT. The gap is getting bigger because obviously, the Japanese factories have the budget and means to always find something in the loopholes of the rules to develop continuously. CRT are painstakingly slow in developing because of budget and the risk of getting called the bluff with too much support from the manufacturer (ART).

Would be the reasons given by Mattia Pasini and Michele Pirro point towards the fact that they think they could be more competitive in the other championships because of a more level playing field? If MotoGP is a full CRT grid, would they had considered staying then?

It seems a little too much to compare "add 50cc scooters to Moto2" to CRT presently in MotoGP because what we saw in the launch of Moto2, it was a total grid wide change. There's no reason to "add 50cc scooters to Moto2" because majority prices of the Moto2 grid are kept within reasonable budgets while leasing price of satellite machines are pretty much out of budget for most privateers already. Therefore I do not think CRT is stupid, but the way it was implemented and promised to be, had definitely fallen way short. Engine claiming became an upperhand for the factories is just so wrong.

BMW claims "Honda and Yamaha are killing MotoGP", but admitted the financial strain to be competitive at the present level. One could only imagine if BMW is in MotoGP, are they going to be a replica of Suzuki/Kawasaki or Honda/Yamaha/Ducati?

It's an irony that many fans preferred the "old days" of MotoGP where the control of the motorcycle belongs to the racer because Dorna had the chance to do it by making it Moto1. Even VR himself said he has no problems about it if it is the same for everyone. The factories may leave but that does not stop a CRT from using a Honda or Yamaha engine should they wish to.

Total votes: 105

..SBK level?

Sorry but MotoGP is MotoGP.

I agree that if whole grid revert to CRT we would have interesting races. Sort of Moto2 on steroids.

But that is SBK really. MotoGP is prototype racing. Period! We have SBK and really I do not need CRT racing in place of MotoGP.

If they want to make it cheaper:

- remove max fuel capacity (huge advantage for manufactures that have a lot of money to spend on electronic and injection)

- remove GPS tracking (Traction control without GPS is much, much harder to map (TC maps for every corner is very hard without GPS))

- remove engine limit (to make top engine with max HP in 6 engine limit is much harder then engine for one race)

.. and so on.

Spec ECU???

Give me a brake.

CRT???

Give me a brake.

Do not understand me wrong.

This rant is against Dorna. Not against you.

They just piss me off!

LP

Total votes: 103

You can't blame Suzuki/BMW (and potentially Aprilia) from hanging back when the rules are still in a constant state of flux.

As soon as there's a reasonable and, more importantly, stable set of rules to base the design of a shiny new bike on, I wouldn't expect any factory to consider (re-)entering the class.

Having said that, I suspect Aprilia are using the CRTs to help develop their electronics package/expertise in advance of creating a new prototype, either to race themselves or to sell as a proddie racer.

So c'mon Dorna, sort out the rules, leave them alone for 5-10 years and leave the factories/teams to close the gap themselves!

Total votes: 107

High time. Fresh air,fresh ideas,fresh and superquick youth.
Ducati have over the years always err'd on the side of conservatism,track record and experience when selecting their riders. There is much merit to that angle of thought, but there comes a time when a branch needs to be severed to save a tree.
Without a doubt the media focus come Valencia testing will be on Rossi/Yamaha.
For me the real interest will be Iannone/Marquez/Bradl/Smith and the seasons potential based on Tissot timing.
At Ducati,Hayden provides continuance,but the prospect of 2 Italians and 2 Americans laying it all on the line with no particular pecking order in evidence is really good. Of course that qualifier is based on the presumption all 4 start out with the same factory kit which has not been the case for Ducati sattelite riders since whenever.
And yes,I agree with some of the previous comments. In the interests of cost saving and the sports health,the rules need to be cast in stone for a half a decade at least. That includes tire spec,gross vehicle mass,fuel capacity and all.
Especially tires.

Total votes: 99