Iannone: 'What did they expect?'

'I read, 'really bad start to the season for Iannone'. What did they expect? If people expected Iannone would arrive and Aprilia arrive on the podium... I did not expect this' - Andrea Iannone, Spanish MotoGP.
Iannone: 'What did they expect?'

Andrea Iannone can't understand why some people think he's made a bad start to his first MotoGP season with Aprilia.

A race winner at Ducati and then four-time podium finisher for Suzuki, Iannone says he is feeling 'tranquil' after 14-17-12 places at Aprilia, having reset his mind for the new challenge of bringing the RS-GP steadily to the front.

"Everybody knows we need a better bike, but we also need time to improve," Iannone said. "It's normal that at the moment we don’t stay in the places that we want. But also I think compared to last year Aprilia made a good step.

"If people expected Iannone would arrive and Aprilia arrive on the podium... I did not expect this situation.

"Sometimes I read in the newspaper, 'really bad start to the season for Iannone'. What did they expect? Especially people in motorsport who write this, what did they expect?"

Asked what he himself expected, the Italian replied: "I expected this situation. I arrive here to improve the bike, work a lot and construct a really good situation step-by-step.

"But I'm not expecting to be at the top immediately. I expect a situation with a good group, good people, good support from Aprilia. And this is what I have.

"I expect a progression during the season. But it's not easy and, in any case, Aprilia has taken more points in these first three races than at this stage in previous years."

Iannone insisted that, despite his past success, he is calm and mentally prepared to be patient at Aprilia - in contrast to an anxious first season at Suzuki, when the GSX-RR's engine design turned out to be problematic.

"I am much more tranquil than in the last two years, 2017 and 2018," he said.

"Because when I switched from Ducati to Suzuki, I expected a big performance with Suzuki. I didn’t have this result because in 2017 we made a mistake and chose something worse for us [the engine] and we lose all of 2017.

"I was really nervous in every race because I want the result and I don’t have the result. I want to fight for the podium and I don’t. And we lose one year.

"This year everything is better because it's like we restart from zero. New team, new bike, new people. I don’t expect to arrive here and for it to be possible to fight for the top five every race. Sometimes we will arrive tenth, sometimes 20th. We need to find a really good balance and then move forward step-by-step."

Underlining that there is no single problem area with the RS-GP, Iannone's top priority is consistency rather than outright speed.

"The Aprilia doesn't have one problem in one area. We need to improve a little bit here, here, here. Many things all together will make the step we need.

"I want Aprilia to make a constant bike first of all. When we get this, we will start to improve the performance, but first of all we must repeat more-or-less every lap with a very close lap time."

Aprilia, sixth in the last in the constructors' championship for the past two seasons, starts the European season one point behind KTM.

Iannone is 18th in the world championship with team-mate Aleix Espargaro 13th, after two top-ten finishes were followed by a fall in Austin.

The RS-GP's best result to date is sixth place, which Espargaro has claimed on three occasions since joining the team in 2017.