Andrea Iannone feels he still needs more mileage to get where he needs to be after missing out on an automatic passage to QP2 in Qatar. The Italian rookie was eleventh at the end of free practice and must go through QP1 before earning a shot at pole position but expects to go quicker once he’s more familiar with the Pramac Ducati GP12 around Losail. Iannone also had injury problems to contend with which hindered his progress.
“Fortunately, my right forearm didn’t hurt as much during FP3, as the pain had forced me to return to the garage on the fourth lap of tonight’s first session. I wasn’t able to control the bike, and I lacked strength. Nonetheless, we were able to make some small changes to the bike, and they allowed me to improve quite a bit and to give a clearer idea of the direction to take. I still don’t have much reference on this track, so I definitely need to do more laps.”
Teammate Ben Spies will also take part in QP1 on Saturday and admits he is still learning the Ducati after losing opportunities to ride in testing.
“I’m okay, even though tonight’s session didn’t go exactly the way we wanted. We tried something a little bit different before our practice, and it didn’t work out. We had to make a change during the session, which cost me some time. We know we missed about 50% of testing due to my injury and learning a new bike, so realistically, our testing is starting now. It was the first time that we pushed the bike hard, and I’m learning things about it. We’re changing stuff and getting used to it, but we need more time. The feeling with the bike is getting better every time out.”