Iannone was born in the Adriatic coastal town of Vasto, on August 9, 1989, and again like any other motorcycle rider his interest in bikes came at a very early age. Like many other top riders, he refined his riding abilities first in Minamoto's, Iannone also has one older brother called Angelo who follows Andrea to all the tracks.
Born in Vasto, Province of Chieti, Iannone – like many other riders – started his career on pocket bikes and soon became a championship front runner. He participated in both the Italian and Spanish championships before moving to World Championship in 2005. On 4 May 2008, Iannone claimed his first win at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, in wet conditions. Prior to the victory, he had never finished higher than ninth, at the Turkish and French Grands Prix in 2007, although he had previously qualified as high as seventh. In the 2009 125cc season he won the first two races of the season, establishing himself as a championship contender, however he faded to seventh overall, with only one more win. During the race at Misano, Iannone provoked an accident with Pol Espargaró. After the incident, images showed the riders arguing in the gravel and Iannone headbutted Espargaró. This was heavily criticised by the media and lost Iannone some sponsorship; Iannone then apologised to Espargaró at the next race at Estoril.
In 2010, Iannone moved up to the new Moto2 series, his first time riding anything other than an Aprilia. After a slow start he took victories at Mugello and Assen – both from pole – making him the first rider to take two poles in the class, to move up to fourth overall in the standings. He was also competitive in Barcelona, but received a ride-through penalty for overtaking Yuki Takahashi under yellow flag conditions. He then went on to win again at Motorland Aragón, a track which was new to the MotoGP calendar in 2010.
2011 proved to be a very up and down season for Iannone, with inconsistency being his major downfall. Whilst being the only other rider besides Stefan Bradl and Marc Márquez to win more than one race, he would often find himself qualifying well outside the top 10, but finished the season in third place after beating Alex de Angelis in the final race of the season in Valencia. On the Tuesday following the race, Iannone tested a MotoGP bike for Gresini Racing in Valencia.
Iannone remained in the class for the 2012 season, finishing second in the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix, having led the race out of the final corner and losing out to the straight line speed of Marc Márquez's bike. He finished fourteenth, fifth and fourth over the next three races, before taking his first victory of the season in the Catalan Grand Prix. He went on to get another podium at Assen. After this, he won his home race at Mugello wearing the colours of a nearby fire station.
In 2013, after another third place in the Moto2 championship, Iannone moved up into MotoGP on a Ducati Desmosedici with Pramac Racing. He finished the season in twelfth place with five top-ten finishes. His best result was an eighth place at the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, but the second part of his season was affected by a shoulder injury suffered during free practice at the German Grand Prix. The injury also forced him to miss the United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
In 2014 he continued to race with Pramac Racing, with teammate Yonny Hernández.
For the 2015 season, Iannone replaced Cal Crutchlow at Ducati Corse, and partners Andrea Dovizioso in the team. Iannone achieved his first MotoGP podium on his Ducati début, finishing third in Qatar. At Austin, he finished in fifth place behind Jorge Lorenzo, and also recorded the first fastest lap of his MotoGP career. Iannone was on course for a second podium in Argentina, but was passed for third on the final lap, by Crutchlow. At Phillip Island Iannone was involved in a lengthy four-way battle for first with three former world champions Lorenzo, Marc Márquez, and Valentino Rossi. He finished third after overtaking Rossi on the final lap with three corners remaining.
He began his 2016 season well, leading at Losail for 6 laps before low-siding, allowing his team-mate to overtake. The following Grand Prix in Argentina saw Iannone in 3rd before attempting a last lap overtake of his team-mate Dovizioso, resulting in both riders falling. Iannone was penalised by Race Direction with a penalty point and three places on his following starting grid placement. Despite these punishments Iannone finished his first race of the season on the podium with a 3rd place behind Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo, ending his season-spanning four race long run of race retirements. He raced aggressively at Catalunya, and eliminated Lorenzo from 5th place, effectively giving Marquez the championship lead.
The Italian will ride the Factory GSX-RR in the MotoGP World Championship for the upcoming two years following the 2016 season. It was recently confirmed that Iannone will be joined by Alex Rins as his teammate.
The first notable nickname Iannone had was during the 2010 Misano Circuit Moto2 race where he wore a helmet inspired by the incredible hulk. The writing on the back of the helmet read "The Incredible Iannhulk". In 2011, Iannone sported the nickname "Crazy Joe" on the back of his leathers, a nickname his friends had given him, he is called this because of his aggressive and unbelievable racing maneuvers. In 2012, "Crazy Joe" had changed to "The Maniac Joe" just to emphasize the first nickname even further. At Mugello, Iannone used the colour scheme of a nearby fire station and for that race alone gained the nickname "Joe the Firefighter".
* Season still in progress.
(Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap of the race)
* Season still in progress.