Andrea Dovizioso: The Secrets of Mugello
For Andrea Dovizioso, the Mugello Motorcycle Racing Circuit is one of the most beautiful and difficult in the world. It is a circuit famous for its wide track, numerous direction changes, pronounced gradient changes and physical demands.
Although, additionally, if there is anything which makes the Italian Grand Prix unique, it is the passion with which the tifossi follow the races from the Tuscan hills in which the azure track nestles.
With two podiums in three races and clear progress in the Repsol Honda Team, Andrea Dovizioso arrives at the fourth meeting of the championship in top form, with ambitions to once again be up there amongst the fastest at his home Grand Prix.
A special point of the Mugello Circuit is before entering the first turn, on the straight, where there is a change of gradient.
You reach it at more than 330 km/h and the front wheel, at least when you ease off a bit on the throttle or touch the rear brake a little, throws you.
It is very difficult to control the bike at such high speeds because there is also a small direction change before braking and the adrenalin gets pumping.
The "San Donato" turn is very difficult because the track is really wide and allows many different lines when taking it. You enter at high speed, going downhill and the exit is uphill.
Turns 2 and 3
After the uphill section you get to the first "ess", "Luco – Poggio Secco", which is a very problematic zone because of the compressions on the suspension. There are a lot of small potholes which lead to a lot of vibration. You need to take it smoothly, to let the bike run and always keep a high cornering speed.
Turns 4 and 5
The second "ess", "Materassi" and "Borgo San Lorenzo", is slower and has a much more simple line because you try to keep the highest speed possible and not allow the engine revolutions to drop too much.
Turns 6 and 7
On entering the downhill section of "Casanova – Savelli", a historic point at which there is the most atmosphere and at which the people from the fan club arrive a week in advance to reserve their place and fight tooth and nail to protect it. It is a very difficult "ess" because you have to brake on the downhill which is always more difficult, make a direction change, still on the downhill, and exit well in order to prepare for the "Arrabiata 1" turn.
Turns 8 and 9
"Arrabiata 1 and 2" are two of the most beautiful and most difficult turns of the circuit and of the whole World Championships. At "Arrabiata 1" you enter on the downhill up to the mid-turn point, and then the uphill begins, where you run at very high speed until entering "Arrabiata 2" which I think is one of the most beautiful corners in the world. It is a blind corner, on the uphill, with a very high painted kerb – you can’t go over it -, and you have to open up on the gas intuitively, without any reference point, because you can’t see the exit of the turn. It is very difficult to push hard at this point.
Turns 10 and 11
After a gradient change, you get to the "ess" called "Scarperia – Palaggio", an "ess" at which you also have to keep up a high speed, being very careful again with the potholes which make everything even more difficult.
Entering on the downhill into "Correntaio", a very long right-hand turn in which you have to stay well to the inside of the track, because the downhill pulls you towards the outside. At the exit, you have to really tuck in to prepare for the following "ess".
Turns 13 and 14
The "Biondettis" are very difficult turns, very fast, with a lot of potholes which take you to the last corner.
"Bucine" is perhaps one of the most difficult turns there are because the entry is on the downhill and while you are in the turn, it’s a very long left-hander, you keep going downhill until the straight. You have to get a good line because you are almost at the straight which is really long and extremely important for setting fast times.