Iannone doubted he would finish race
15 November 2016 – Andrea Iannone says he doubted that he would be able to finish the final round of the season in Valencia on Sunday before eventually beating Valentino Rossi to third.
Iannone missed four races with a back injury, only returning at the previous round in Malaysia, and surged through to second at the first corner at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Iannone battled with Rossi through the race, the pair swapping positions on several occasions, and while both were overhauled by Marc Márquez, Iannone grabbed third.
"It was a difficult race," Iannone reflected.
"When I looked at my [pit] board, and I checked 16 laps [remaining], I thought, 'Woah! No, it's impossible', because I had a lot of pain.
"For me it was a little bit difficult, because for the braking point the bike is very good, but I don't have the energy for braking very hard.
"In the corners the bike didn't have a good speed, and the Yamaha was better, but I thought a lot, stayed in front and rode in my pace.
"It was a good battle with [Rossi], and for me this podium is very, very important, because I came back [from injury] just one race before."
Iannone also paid tribute to Ducati on his final start for the manufacturer before joining Suzuki.
"Thank you Ducati, for all this year and the support," he said, in a message to the team.
"I think I will remember this moment and this year for [the rest of] my life."