Andrea Iannone to Skip Motegi, Back for Phillip Island

Andrea Iannone is to miss the MotoGP round at Motegi. The Italian has been advised by his doctors to skip the first of the three Pacific flyaway rounds to allow the vertebra he fractured at Misano to heal. 

Iannone picked up the injury on the first day of his home race at Misano. Though the injury is on the forward side of the T3 vertebra, making it less vulnerable to a repeat injury, the fracture has caused him to miss both Misano and Aragon. Motegi will be the third race which Iannone will be forced to miss.

The factory Ducati team will not field a replacement for Iannone. The decision came as late as possible for the factory, to give Iannone as much time as possible to be fit in time for the Japanese race. That has not been possible, but doctors are confident that Iannone will be fit to race in Phillip Island, the second of the three flyaways. Given that Iannone had such a strong race there in 2015, ending on the podium after a four-way dice with Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, he will be keen to race in Australia, in the hope of pulling off a repeat.

Below is the press release from Ducati:

Andrea Iannone will miss this weekend’s Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi and is scheduled to return at Phillip Island

Andrea Iannone will not be taking part in the Grand Prix of Japan, which will be held this coming weekend at Motegi’s Twin Ring circuit.

Last week the Ducati Team’s Italian rider underwent a series of checks, which showed that the excess fluid in his back injury had been almost totally absorbed and that the calcification process of the T3 vertebra, which he fractured at Misano after crashing during the first free practice session for the San Marino GP, was now well underway.

However Iannone’s doctor has advised him to continue with his rehabilitation and to wait a few more days until the fracture has completely healed, before going out onto the track once again.

The rider from Vasto, in agreement with his team, has therefore decided not to take part in the GP of Japan and to return to the championship at the Australian GP from 21 to 23 October. Last year, at Phillip Island, Iannone was the protagonist of a spectacular race, finishing on the podium in third place.

The Ducati Team has decided not to replace Iannone for the Japanese round and will only line up on the grid at Motegi with Andrea Dovizioso.


Back to top


No Casey on the grid then? I was under the impression Dornas rules said that Ducati would have to field two factory bikes at Motegi. Seems a bit of a waste, or waste of time having a talented test rider watching from the side lines, Michele has done a sterling job standing in but i'm sure seeing Casey in a race situation would be something not to miss. It is a great loss to the sport that Casey does not want to race anymore due to race fitness or personal choice.  

It would be a Ducati gamble.  On the one hand, if Stoner came in and did well then they'd be vindicated in their decision to let Iannone go - that their bike was fast without Iannone.  But if Stoner came back and didn't do well then it would prove the opposite.

It would also rely on Casey wanting to race - and he hasn't shown a strong or consistent desire so far.

..Would be the perfect icing on an already incredible cake of a season!

Really hope that Ducati give him the go-ahead (and that he still wants to race of course!)

Since the article states "The factory Ducati team will not field a replacement for Iannone." I think the changes would be a bit slim ;)

Hence "conceivably," but they said no replacement for this round and that he is back for P.I. - Perhaps he isn't ready. And perhaps we will get a one off Stoner ride even if AI29 is there. Stranger things have happened! I would say Bayliss's single returning race win after leaving the series for instance had less probability than a Stoner at P.I.'s likelihood was approaching nil. OJ had one rain race on the Kawi that got him up in front, another lap or three and he was on pace to win on the equivalent of somewhere between our current Suzuki and Aprilia. Pirro on a Ducati track w the right circumstances and conditions is even a tad possible.

9th winner even amongst our permanent isn't likely but is possible. Mixed conditions or leaders have an incident, and Dovi could scoop up a win. Me? I would enjoy watching #27 take the flag in red! The odds aren't zero.

Sadly the prospects of a wildcard ride seem very unlikely despite early season hype.

Why Chaz Davies hasn't been given a Ducati wild-card yet?

He is riding like an absolute demon in WSBK, firmly believe he is one of the riders from that series that could perform in GPs if given the opportunity. 

Come on Casey, put in a good word with Gigi for your mate and ask if they can roll out a 3rd machine for him :)

Definitely not. Iannone on the starting grid PI, definitely. Dovi to win at Motrgi, definitely not. 

Then again Motegi 2007 and Capirex? Thats why we watch!


Just wondering given that the issue has not healed and now Ianonne is to miss another race, will there be questions asked of the MotoGP doctor (I belive it was) that stated that Ianonne was capable of riding at the last round?

Surely if there is a continual ruling out of a rider by team or personal doctors andy et there is another source saying fit enough to ride the organisation need to look at the situation from a rider safety view to ensure that a rider is not sent back onto track where an injury places them at greater risk as we may have seen last round.

Does the lack of replacement mean that Pirro will not ride? Granted, his Aragon result wasn't spectacular, but points are points I would think.

Pirro is currently at Valencia till Friday testing the new GP17. Shakedown of the GP17 and getting it ready for the post-season test is more important for Ducati than fielding 2 bikes in Japan. Especially given that post-Valencia test is the only chance Lorenzo will have to test the bike before Feb-2017. They've said that Pirro will be on stand-by at PI in case Iannone still can't race there.

Turned down the offer to replace Iannone at Motegi. Which is pretty disappointing with the Phillip Island up next and Iannone not fully fit.