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Stunned Andrea Iannone ‘excited, proud’ with immediate WorldSBK pace

Gold & Goose

Andrea Iannone has admitted he ‘didn’t expect to arrive at this level’ after completing the official pre-season 2024 WorldSBK test at Phillip Island inside both the top five and lap record pace.

The ex-MotoGP rider, who has spent four years out of competitive action after serving a lengthy doping suspension, mounts a return to racing this year with a turn in WorldSBK on the indepenedent Team Go Eleven Ducati Panigale V4 R.

Despite such a lengthy period out - during which he wasn’t permitted to test a race bike or compete - Iannone has already turned heads in winter testing with his immediate pace on the Ducati package.


It was form he stepped up during the one-day pre-season test at Phillip Island ahead of this weekend’s curtain raiser for the 2024 WorldSBK season. Turning in a 1m 31.001s lap during the slower morning session, Iannone ended the day fourth quickest.

It is performance even he has been taken aback by, though the Italian admits he still has a lot to learn with regards to tyre performance over a single lap.

“It’s really good because, after four years, I’m excited because I didn’t expect to arrive at this level. I’m proud of this. 

“We struggled a lot especially with the soft tyres, I ride slower than with a race tyre! This is the big problem. We have a Superpole Race, and in this race, we use soft tyres. In Superpole, we need to start in front. 

“In the end, the positive thing is with the SC1, and in general in these tests, we are always more or less in the top three. We struggle a lot with soft tyres and it’s the third time we’ve had this problem. I’m a little bit worried about this. 

“I’m surprised. I don’t know how to explain my pace, but I prefer it like this! Everything is natural so I’m happy. 

“With the race tyres, we are really close; sometimes we are the best, sometimes we are top three. This is the most important thing. It’s important we calm down because this is just the beginning.”

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