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Iannone wraps first day of free practice for Australian GP at Phillip Island in fourth place, Dovizioso fourteenth

Andrea Iannone ended the first day of free practice for the Australian Grand Prix at the spectacular Phillip Island circuit in fourth place. His team-mate Andrea Dovizioso encountered a bit more difficulty at the Australian track and could only finish in a provisional fourteenth place.

The two Ducati Team riders were eighth (Iannone) and twelfth (Dovizioso) respectively in the first session of the morning, which took place under cloudy skies and with air/track temperatures of 16°/20°C.

The sun made an appearance in the afternoon after a brief rain shower, and the temperatures rose to 20°/29° for FP2, which was held on a totally dry track surface.

Iannone constantly lapped at a good pace, and towards the end of the session he fitted his GP15 with an asymmetric front slick, specially prepared by Bridgestone for Phillip Island, together with an extra-soft rear: his lap time of 1’29.544 took him to fourth in the overnight standings.

Dovizioso, who had used an asymmetric front slick since the start, had a bit more difficulty in the session. The Italian was unable to find a satisfactory set-up for his GP15 and he ended the day down in fourteenth place with a time of 1’30.451, which he set on his final exit with an extra-soft rear tyre.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’29.544 (4th)

“After this morning’s session, it was important for us to get an idea of the direction to take for the set-up. Maybe I could have done a bit better today, but in the end it’s OK the way it is. Tomorrow I hope we will manage to make a further step forward, especially with ‘rideability’ and electronic management, because we want to go even quicker, be more constant and improve our pace.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’30.451 (14th)

“This afternoon I was not able to make the progress I had expected, especially because I really have to struggle to get the bike to turn in the long corners. However we are all very close and you don’t need much to get ahead. We have to understand exactly which areas we need to work on tomorrow: we knew it wasn’t going to be easy here, but we can improve and for sure I will have to adapt better to the track conditions and to the bike. Now we have to remain calm and work hard to get a better understanding of where we can shave something off our lap times.”