Andrea Iannone: Ducati Panigale is too small for him / Superbike World Championship

Andrea Iannone: Ducati Panigale is too small for him / Superbike World Championship

Race-returning Andrea Iannone will compete in the World Superbike Championship at Assen next weekend in a surprising fifth place overall. The Ducati rider from the Go-Eleven team emphasizes his role as an individual.

Third in the first major race in Australia, second in the marathon in Barcelona: Andrea Iannone’s return to professional racing is very impressive after a four-year break (doping). The Italian from the Go Eleven Ducati team has already collected 51 championship points and is fifth overall ahead of the third event of the season next weekend in Assen.

Ducati won the world championship with Alvaro Bautista in 2022 and 2023. With 60 victories, the Spaniard is the most successful world championship pilot in all classes for the manufacturer from Borgo Panigale, a suburb of Bologna.

The V4R is made for Bautista and his jockey body. That’s why for years there was an opinion that tall riders did not belong to Ducati. Three-time world champion (with two-cylinder Panigale) Chaz Davies captured at least 20 podiums and three wins with the new four-cylinder engine from 2019 until his retirement from SBK at the end of 2021.

And since 2023, former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci has been on the podium, as was his colleague Iannone this year. Before the Dutch race, the leader of the World Championship is the rookie Nicolo Bulega, like the first two mentioned, a tall athlete.

The fact that taller and heavier pilots now find it easier is related to the introduction of a lower weight for the driver in full gear of 80 kg, which has been in use since this year. But that doesn’t change the specs of the bike.

“The motorcycle is small, very small,” insisted the 34-year-old Iannone to “That’s why I don’t express my feelings to be 100 percent. I don’t know what can be changed in this matter in the future. I’m not in the factory team, I’m not a factory driver. We are a private team and I have to do what I have. We can definitely adjust the bike better for me in some areas. But we can’t change much, only the legs, the seat and the handle.”