Gigi Dall’Igna reveals that Andrea Iannone, banned for four years, will race again in 2024, for a Ducati satellite team in WSBK
Andrea Iannone, who has been banned from racing by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) since 2020, is set to make his comeback. However, this comeback will not be in the World Motorcycle Championship for the Italian, where he raced until 2019, but in the World Superbike Championship (WSBK)
Luigi “Gigi” Dall’Igna, the head of Ducati’s racing division Ducati Corse, confirmed on the sidelines of the ongoing MotoGP weekend in Barcelona that Iannone will ride for a Ducati satellite team in the 2024 WSBK season. There were already rumours to this effect in July. On the one hand, they revolved around the Barni team, for which Danilo Petrucci currently rides, and on the other hand around the GoEleven team, for which Phillip Öttl currently rides.
“Andrea was an important rider for Ducati. […] I am very happy that he will ride for us again. Not for our team, but for one of our satellite teams. And I wish him all the best for this comeback,” says Dall’Igna in an interview with Dorna Sports, the promoter of both the MotoGP World Championship and the Superbike World Championship.
Dall’Igna is yet to reveal whether Iannone will dock at Barni in the 2024 WSBK season, replacing Petrucci, whether the Barni team will increase from one to two riders, or whether Iannone will go to GoEleven to replace Öttl.
The Ducati-Corse boss is only saying this much at the moment: “He will certainly need a bit of time to be able to develop his full potential again. But he is very talented and has a big heart. I expect that he will even be able to get some results as early as 2024.”
Iannone has not yet competed in the World Superbike Championship. In his MotoGP career, which came to an abrupt end in autumn 2019 due to doping allegations, the Italian had competed for the Ducati factory team in 2015 and 2016.
At the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, Iannone gave the Ducati brand a long-awaited victory in the premier class after what was then a six-year drought. Before Iannone, Casey Stoner had last won for Ducati in the 2010 MotoGP season.
In December 2019, as the then Aprilia factory rider, Iannone was initially temporarily suspended due to a positive doping test. A year later, however, he was given a four-year retroactive ban by WADA. This is now about to expire, meaning that Iannone will be allowed to race again in 2024.