The new Moto2 World Championship is sure to provide plenty more nail-biting action at Mugello – the fastest track the new Honda CBR600-powered class has visited so far.
The first three races of the inaugural championship have already given it a reputation for thrills and spills, with 41 riders fighting for every one hundredth of a second.
At Le Mans two weeks ago Moto2 made history, with the closest grid in more than six decades of Grand Prix competition. At the end of qualifying just 0.969 seconds covered the top 27 riders!
Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) is currently the man on form, with two wins from the last two races giving him the points lead.
Now one of an elite group of riders who have won Grand Prix victories in four classes, Elias (who has won GPs on 125s, 250s, MotoGP bikes and now on a MotoGP machine) would dearly love to make it a Moto2 hat-trick at Mugello for his Italian team boss Fausto Gresini.
Qatar Moto2 winner Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP, Suter) was one of several fallers at Le Mans but still lies second on points. The Japanese struggled to produce his usual qualifying pace in France and ended up 15th on the grid, which got him caught up in the pack once the race started.
Italian Simone Corsi (Jir Moto2, Motobi) scored his first Moto2 podium in France and will be out to repeat that performance on home tarmac. Italy’s second best-placed Moto2 man is Roberto Rolfo (Italtrans S.T.R, Suter), currently ninth on points.
The 30-year-old has Mugello podium form – he took second in the 2001 Italian 250 GP. Last year’s Mugello 250 winner Mattia Pasini (Jir Moto2, Motobi) is 14th on points in the Moto2 series, with two non-scores from the last two races.
After Mugello the MotoGP World Championship has one weekend off before going into a frantic run of three races on consecutive weekends: the British GP on June 20, the Dutch TT on June 26 and the Catalan GP on July 4.
Moto2 RIDER QUOTES
Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP rider) says: "I cannot wait to get to Mugello. I don’t want to have another weekend like we had at Le Mans where I didn’t qualify so well, which really hurt us in the race. So I will do my best on the track and concentrate on setting up the bike. This is important for me and the team."
Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2 rider) says: "The Moto2 series is still very new, so it’s difficult to know what will happen this weekend. I have won the last two races, but no one knows what will happen at Mugello. The lap times are so close, so it’s very easy to be first at one moment, and then in tenth place the next. As usual, I will work hard with my team in practice and then give my full focus and concentration during the race. I am looking forward to it."
Simone Corsi (JIR Moto2 rider) says: "Mugello has always been an exciting race, either because it’s one of the most fascinating circuits of the championship or because it is my home GP, therefore the hills are filled by supporters and fans. Here Italians can give that little more. I’m happy and relaxed, because I come from a good podium in Le Mans which pays back the work done by the team and realises the continuous advancements we’ve made since the first race."
"I’m confident I’ll give a good performance, a victory is our real aim but the objective is to continue to improve, collecting as many points as possible for the championship. We’ll have to work hard on our performance in qualification, in order to start at the front and not let anybody get away."
GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA Moto2 Entry List
|5||Joan OLIVE||SPA||Jack & Jones by A.Banderas||Promoharris|
de Castello – Ajo
|AUS||MZ Racing Team||MZ-RE Honda|
& Jones by A.Banderas
|10||Fonsi NIETO||SPA||Holiday Gym G22||Moriwaki|
|SWI||Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2||Moriwaki|
PTT Singha SAG
|RSM||RSM Team Scot||Force GP210|
|CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||FTR|
|RUS||Vector Kiefer Racing||Suter|
|24||Toni ELIAS||SPA||Gresini Racing Moto2||Moriwaki|
|ITA||Caretta Technology Race Dept||I.C.P.|
|ITA||Tech 3 Racing||Tech 3|
|SPA||Tenerife 40 Pons||Pons Kalex|
|41||Arne TODE||GER||Racing Team Germany||Suter|
|52||Lukas PESEK||CZE||Matteoni CP Racing||Moriwaki|
|FRA||WTR San Marino Team||ADV|
|SPA||Marc VDS Racing
|ITA||RSM Team Scot||Force GP210|
|UKR||Gresini Racing Moto2||Moriwaki|
|GER||Viessmann Kiefer Racing||Suter|
|80||Axel PONS||SPA||Tenerife 40 Pons||Pons Kalex|
|SPA||Holiday Gym G22||Moriwaki|