MotoGP Mugello: Italian Riders Go Home
The MotoGP race at Mugello is located in a beautiful area of Tuscany just north of Florence. It is one of – if not the – most scenic motorcycle racing circuits anywhere in the world.
The magnificent racetrack makes the Italian Moto Grand Prix one of the must-see races of the year. The thousands of vividly passionate race fans will pack the hillsides of the valley and will certainly add to the amazing atmosphere that makes up one of the most impressive spectacles on any sporting calendar.
As for the home country racers, there must be something in the wine or tomatoes because Italian riders, with 20 MotoGP / 500cc World Championship Titles, are the most successful of any nationality (see chart below).
Five of the seventeen competitors for 2010 call Italy their home. These Italian riders look forward to the home race, like a home cooked meal where the food is amazing and the Tuscan sun is shining.
Loris Capirossi has failed to finish the last two Grands Prix due to unexplainable crashes and is determined not to let that statistic hinder him as he aims for his 100th career podium.
Capirossi has a good record at the 5,245m Mugello circuit and narrowly missed a podium place in last year’s race. He has started both Italian Grands Prix in his Rizla Suzuki career from the front row of the grid and is certainly hoping to keep that record intact.
Loris Capirossi says: "Mugello is a good place to start a strong comeback and I’ll be trying as hard as I can to get the season off the ground. It is a track I love and I know I can go well there. I have a lot of fans and friends who will all be at the track and I will be giving it everything to give them a good result, but most of all we need a good result for the guys in the crew, they have done a great job this year and the bike is much better than 2009, we now need to start getting the results to show that!"
Marco Melandri and Marco Simoncelli, Team San Carlo Honda Gresini riders, make the short trip across Romagna to Mugello this coming weekend for the first of two home races in 2010.
After his sixth place at Le Mans two weeks ago and the improved feeling with his RC212V, Melandri continues his quest to close the gap to the front at a circuit where he took 250cc victory in 2002 and battled for the podium in 2005 in MotoGP.
The signs are good for Simoncelli too, the rookie considering himself unfortunate to only come away with tenth place from an otherwise impressive race that saw him denied a top eight finish only at the very end in France.
"SuperSic" is looking to continue his impressive adaptation to the premier class at a circuit he loves and with further aerodynamic updates made by Honda to his RC212V to try and give him a further boost. Simoncelli also took victory in the 250cc class at Mugello in 2008 and came second in a breathtaking finish last season.
Marco Melandri says: "I am happy to be going to Mugello with a more positive mentality than recent races. I love this circuit and your home Grand Prix is always a special occasion. I am feeling positive and looking forward to racing at a circuit I like, with its changes in pace and fast corners and all the fans banked around the circuit – it is a unique and fantastic place."
Marco Simoncelli says: "Mugello is upon us and considering the fact that I could have come away with a much better result at Le Mans than I did I am confident about this one. I have always liked Mugello a lot – I won there in 2008 and last year in the rain I had a close battle with Pasini but unfortunately lost out at the line. Seeing all the people on the bankings gives you an extra boost to do well. "
Andrea Dovizioso’s podium finish in the French Grand Prix allows him to arrive at one of the most long-awaited events of the year on a high, after taking a significant step forward.
The work in the heart of the Repsol Honda Team have allowed him to finish two races on the podium and rank third in the World Championship standings after three races.
Aware of the difficulties that the demanding Mugello circuit always presents, Dovizioso will have the support of the crowd, extra motivation for the Italian rider who will be able to feel the warmth of his fellow-Italians on the track.
Andrea Dovizioso says: "We’re arriving at Mugello in a good situation. The circuit is really fascinating to ride – it’s so challenging and demanding to get right and this is what makes it so appealing. Plus the support of the Italian fans is incredible. I like everything here: the people, the circuit, Tuscany, Firenze, the food… I really look forward to racing at Mugello. It’s also a special appointment also for my fans gathered at the Casanova Savelli turns, so I’ll do everything I can to put on a good show for them this weekend".
Valentino Rossi, nine-time World Champion, has an unequalled record at Mugello having won there nine times in fourteen years, which included an extraordinary run of seven consecutive victories to 2008.
Last year he had to be content with a podium in third place but he will be out for win number ten this weekend as he bids to close the gap to his team-mate, which currently stands at nine points.
Valentino Rossi says: "Mugello is an incredible place to ride a motorcycle, there is nowhere else like it in the world with all the tifosi around the hills and when you go out for the first lap the sound is something amazing. I always look forward to racing there and I hope we will be in good shape this weekend."
Right corners: 9
Left corners: 6
Longest straight: 1.141km
Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati, 2008), 1’50.003
Best Pole: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha, 2008), 1’48.130
Time schedule Grand Prix of Italy 2010
Friday, 4th June:
12:00 – 12:45 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Free Practice
12:40 – 13:40 125cc First Free Practice
13:55 – 14:55 MotoGP First Free Practice
15:10 – 16:10 Moto2 First Free Practice
16:25 – 16:55 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Qualifying 1
17:50 – 18:20 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Qualifying 2
Saturday, 5th June:
09:00 – 09:40 125cc Second Free Practice
09:55 – 10:55 MotoGP Second Free Practice
11:10 – 12:10 Moto2 Second Free Practice
13:00 – 13:40 125ccm Qualifying
13:55 – 14:55 MotoGP Qualifying
15:10 – 15:55 Moto2 Qualifying
16:30 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race (15 laps)
Sunday, 6th June:
08:40 – 09:00 125cc Warm up
09:10 – 09:30 Moto2 Warm up
09:40 – 10:00 MotoGP Warm up
11:00 125cc Race (20 laps)
12:15 Moto2 Race (21 laps)
14:00 MotoGP Race (23 laps)
All-Time Italian MotoGP / 500cc World Championship Titles