MotoGP: Why does Andrea Iannone not care anymore?

MotoGP Suzuki rider Andrea Iannone stands apart from the rest of the pack, and not for good reasons – has the Italian lost his spark for Suzuki?

One would assume that if they’d gotten to the premier class of motorcycle racing, they would see themselves doing all they could to maximize their chances of obtaining victory for themselves and their team. In fact, many have argued that it’s the sole purpose of a rider. And yet, there have been examples that have shown the public what it’s like when full-time race participants just seemingly stop caring – like Andrea Iannone.

When Iannone signed a two-year contract with Suzuki last year, his decision made it seem that the fiery Italian rider was committed to building a future with Suzuki that would see them challenge the podium time and again. Unfortunately for Iannone and Co. that reality has not come to pass. Instead, he holds 15th place in the championship while his greener teammate, Alex Rins, sits give below in 20th. Now, everything up until now may give off the impression that it’s not much different of a situation than any other team that’s suffering a lack of desirable results. But the problem stems from Iannone’s complacency.

There have been a slew of other riders who have not secured the positions they had hoped to. Even Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales, who had absolutely stormed the front during his outrageous consecutive race wins and that start of the season, had to face the music when his luck ran out and the crashing began. Even Jorge Lorenzo, who has been fighting with all he’s got to secure the performance and power from his Ducati Desmosdeci, has shown more emotion and hunger to chase after his results. Iannone, in comparison, looks merely complacent. And that’s a hard pill to swallow given the rider’s fantastic past results.

Perhaps it could be that Iannone simply doesn’t feel his heart is in it anymore, and that he wants to ride out his time at Suzuki and move on to greener pastures. But that answer doesn’t satisfy. If such were the case, why opt for a two-year contract with Suzuki? It doesn’t add up. Furthermore, why hasn’t Suzuki brought up the matter of his performance yet? The mid-summer date is coming quick, and the window for results is narrowing.

There is a very real possibility that something could be bubbling under the surface at Suzuki. But we can only go on conjecture at this point. It’s entirely possible that Iannone is choosing to deal with his performance deficit privately and behind closed doors with team members. But when you look disinterested on race day, there’s not much you can say, is there?