Ducati Team's Italian rider Andrea Iannone celebrates third place on the podium after the MotoGP race of the Motul Comunidad Valenciana Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo racetrack in Cheste, on November 13, 2016. / AFP / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Ducati rider Andrea Iannone powered to a splendid third-place podium finish in Sunday’s Valencia Grand Prix, which brought the 2016 MotoGP World Championship season, and his time with the Italian marque, to a close at the Cheste circuit.

After a good start from the third row, Iannone crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in second place and was then involved in a terrific scrap with Rossi and Marquez. When the Spanish world champion moved into second, Iannone continued his battle with Rossi, getting the better of his fellow Italian on lap 25 and he was able to hold onto third place until the chequered flag.

With this result, Iannone was able to bid farewell in the best possible way, bringing his tally with the team to a total of 1 win, (Austrian GP) and six podiums (one second place and five thirds).

“It was a great race. I got a really good start and then had an incredible battle with Marquez and Rossi: I feel sure that everyone watching, either in the circuit or at home on TV, must have enjoyed it a lot,” he said. “I’m pleased because, even though the final part of the championship didn’t go exactly the way I had planned, in my last race for the Ducati Team I was able to get onto the podium, despite a rather difficult situation to manage.”

“Even though after four years unfortunately we go our separate ways, I want to thank Ducati, to whom I have always given 100% and from whom I have always received the maximum of support, and all its engineers, mechanics, team personnel, fans and Ducatisti. I will never forget this great big family, and part of my heart will forever remain in Ducati.”

Iannone will begin a new chapter of his MotoGP career with Suzuki as of today.