Ducati’s Andrea Iannone is convinced he had the speed to take the fight to Jorge Lorenzo prior to crashing out of the Qatar MotoGP season opener.
The Italian was leading the race before losing the front end of his factory Desmosedici GP16 at Turn 13 on the fifth lap after he had hit a white line.
And Iannone said that the fact he had the pace to keep ahead of eventual winner made his mistake “difficult to accept” as he forfeited the chance of a maiden premier class Grand Prix win.
“I am very disappointed, because had a really good pace,” he told media after the race. “From the beginning I push very hard, I was riding very sweet.
“But when I take a different line and touch the white line, I go down. It’s very strange, because usually the white line has grip but this time it’s very slippery.
“For sure I’m not very happy because the pace was really strong – it’s difficult to accept because I’m sure it was possible to fight with Jorge.
“Next time we try another time – in another way, it’s positive because we have a good possibility to fight at the top in every race, and for sure this is my objective.”
“I’ll get another chance soon”
Asked by Motorsport.com about how he felt the Ducati would perform in the coming races, Iannone added: “This year the competitiveness of the bike is really strong, the engine has improved again – I did a record speed in warm-up, which was unbelievable.
“This year I have the potential to fight at the top, because all the manufacturers are really close, and I’m sure I’ll have another chance to fight [for the win].”