Iannone revels in "strongest ever" battle at Phillip Island

Ducati rider Andrea Iannone described his ride to third place in the Australian Grand Prix as his "strongest ever battle" since joining the MotoGP class.

Iannone revels in "strongest ever" battle at Phillip Island
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Podium: third place Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team
Podium: race winner Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, second place Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing, third place Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team and Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team

Iannone was part of a thrilling four-way dice for honours at Phillip Island with Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, ultimately beating the last named to the final podium spot with a last-lap pass on his fellow countryman.

Asked if it was the best battle of his career to date, Iannone replied: “With Marc, I remember the most strong battle at Aragon in 2011, but it was my strongest in MotoGP."

Describing the action in more detail, he added: "It was difficult for me in the braking point with the full tank, so I was not braking at the best.

"Marc passed me every time at Turn 4 [Honda] and Turn 10 [MG] because he’s really strong on the brakes, but I tried my best to follow him and Vale and keep up with Jorge.

"I’m so happy because it’s one of my best races in MotoGP, even though I didn’t win. It was an amazing fight with the best riders, it was incredible.

"The bike was really fast in the straight, which helped me because every lap I was able to pass one rider."

Surviving seagull scare

Iannone's challenge was nearly derailed on the second lap of the race at MG Corner, where the Ducati hit a seagull (pictured above).

However, the 26-year-old's speed appeared not to suffer, the bird hitting the GP15's front fairing, Iannone quipping: “The seagull waited for me for a kiss!

"It was better that he fly before I arrive, because it kept him away from the front tyre; for sure I would have gone down [if it had hit the tyre]."

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