After a fruitless streak stretching back to 100 premier races, Ducati had 7 riders among the top 8 performers at the opening day of the Austrian GP test. At the end of the two days, they’d claimed the top 4 spots and boasted 6 riders in the top 10. But they’re going to need a lot more than that to bridge the wide chasm to redemption. Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring will mark 2,128 days since the team’s last win at Phillip Island in 2010. Andrea Iannone, their highest-ranked driver, has been flagging a staggering 107 points behind Marc Márquez. What are the magic ingredients that will help them make up for lost time?
What’s a team if they don’t believe in themselves? Ducati’s low morale may have a lot to do with their losing streak of late. The saying goes that no one can love you if you don’t love yourself and the same is true of any self-respecting racing team. Call it bravado, call it sheer bloody arrogance, but we can’t find ourselves rooting for a team that can’t hold its head high when facing the enemy. Would a rallying war cry help get the blood going? Or perhaps a dash of Renegade flair?
Of course, all the self-belief mantras in the world will count for naught when you can’t hold true to them at the sticking point. Ducati has been performing extremely well during road tests, but falling very short of the mark during the races proper. Iannone in particular has been promising a lot while being unable to deliver on the track, letting victories slip through his fingers. It’s definitely important to remain steadfast no matter what circumstance throws your way.
There is a reason temperamental types like Valentino Rossi keep their place on the track and the hearts of fans. His disposition may change with the next turn of a weather vane, but he’s a remarkable gifted devil whose sheer skill and personality on the track keep us all on the edge of our seat. A true Renegade, if we’ve ever seen one.
Perhaps Iannone is not cut from quite the same explosive cloth, but his new top speed record of over 220mph at Mugello shows he’s still made of stern stuff. Given the right conditions, he’s a man to be reckoned with.
The Right Gear
Aside from his new speed record, the other factor that’s renewing hopes in Iannone’s chances is his competitive machine. Ducati has given him the perfect equipment for the 10-corner Red Bull Ring. The Desmosedici bike is a supremely competitive machine with superior speed and breaking ability, a boon on a track were breaking stability, top speed and low gear acceleration are a must. We think he’d also benefit from donning some CLICKON’s brand new merchandise for the On Series.
As lovers of three wildly different sports, CLICKON has designed attire that can withstand the hauteur of the golf course, the grit of the soccer field and the adrenaline of the race track. As an athlete in a state of transition (from underdog to potential hero, from Ducati to Suzuki), Iannone will need gear that can retain its wearability and sense of style no matter what the winds of change may portend