Misano Headbutt Costs Iannone Two Sponsors

The consequences of the dramatic last lap incident at the Misano 125cc race are going to be severe for Ongetta ISPA's Andrea Iannone. After punting Pol Espargaro into the gravel in a no-hope dive into the final corner, Iannone then dished out a headbutt to the Spaniard, after Espargaro smashed Iannone's screen in retaliation at being slammed off into the dirt.

At Estoril, the Ongetta team issued a press release announcing that two sponsors had withdrawn their support for the Italian over his actions at the previous round, and demanded that their stickers be removed from the bike. The press release states that the sponsors "have expressed their disappointment over the behavior of Andrea Iannone," and that they "do not wish to be associated with this type of behavior."

Iannone will therefore ride this weekend with a couple of blank spaces on his fairing. Despite the financial loss this has caused to the Ongetta ISPA team, they have decided to continue to support the Italian, because of the "grave consequences which a suspension for the rest of the season could have on his career." The team have also imposed a media blackout on the Italian, forbidding Iannone to talk to the press. Their hope, the press release goes on to say, is that this will mark the end of the affair, and that in the future, all talk will be of Iannone's on-track ability, not his off-track behavior.

Back to top


This time I bet it was just an excuse to break a contract and stop making payments, in these 'difficult economic times'.

I agree with your view. Therefore riders, especially those struggling for results had to pay more attention to their image if their results do not sell. However in this case, I do not feel sorry for him because what he did and said was totally.....in bad taste.

Remember Max Biaggi had to leave MotoGP after what he said about Honda? It's definately a case study for any riders in bad times right now to retain sponsorship interests.

I'm glad there were consequences. That was one of the most infuriating displays I've seen: take the leader out in a no-hope kamikaze move, then have the audacity to headbutt him after? He should have received a sanction of some kind from MotoGP/Dorna, too.