Iannone set for a comeback with Ducati in World Superbikes

Iannone set for a comeback with Ducati in World Superbikes

Andrea Iannone is scheduled to make a comeback to international motorbike racing with Ducati in the World Superbike championship.

Former MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone will make a comeback to bike racing in the World Superbike championship on a Ducati Panigale V4 R satelitte bike after serving his doping suspension.

Ducati general manager Gigi Dall’Igna confirmed the news in an interview with MotoGP/World Superbike promoter Dorna over the course of the MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix weekend.

Iannone piloted Ducati machines for four MotoGP seasons, helping the manufacturer snap a five-year winless streak in 2016. However, for the 2017 season, Jorge Lorenzo took Iannone’s spot as Ducati decided to stick with Andrea Dovizioso rather than retain Iannone.

“Andrea was an important rider for Ducati,” said Dall’Igna. “When I joined Ducati [in 2013], the first victory that we caught was with him, in Austria in 2016.

“So, I remember him very well, he has for sure a big heart and he tried to do the best all the time, this is something I have to respect.

“I’m really happy he will join again – not our team but one of our satellite teams. I would like to say good luck to him for his comeback.”

After leaving Ducati, Iannone spent two mainly uneventful years at Suzuki before joining Aprilia; however, what was meant to be at least a two-year spell ended after one owing to Iannone testing positive for the illegal chemical drostanolone.

His effort to appeal was so unsuccessful that the Court of Arbitration for Sport prolonged his original 18-month suspension to four years.

Iannone is expected to race for GoEleven Ducati in 2024, according to multiple reports from the Italian media. GoEleven Ducati is currently fielding Philipp Oettl, a Moto3 race winner who currently sits in 15th-place in the standings.

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However, Dall’Igna did not clarify which team Iannone will be racing for in 2024.

“For sure he’ll need some time to come back at his full potential,” said Dall’Igna, who suggested that the fact that Iannone’s ban is still in effect may hinder any plans to gradually introduce him back into competitive play over the remaining months of the year. “But anyway he has a lot of talent, he has a big heart, and I expect that even during ’24 he can catch some results.”

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