Following a two-week break since the Grand Prix of France at Le Mans, the 2018 MotoGP Championship heads this weekend to Mugello for the Grand Prix of Italy, round six of 19.The points battle was tight for the opening rounds. This was until the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez re-ignited his winning ways.
Let’s get to it. Following are the essential facts you need to know ahead of 2018 Mugello MotoGP.1. Respol Honda’s Marc Marquez begin the season with a second in Qatar, and an 18th in Argentina after a controversial incident with Valentino Rossi. But from there, he has won straight-three rounds: Austin, Jerez and Le Mans.2. Marquez heads to Italy leading the championship battle with 95 points:
36 ahead of Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
37 ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3)
39 ahead of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP)
3. Marquez only has one premier-class win at Mugello. The year was 2014, and it was the last year that Honda took a win at the 3.26-mile circuit containing 15 corners. Last season, Marquez finished sixth at Mugello.4. As MotoGP preps of its 33rd year of racing at Mugello (Barry Sheene won the inaugural race in 1976), Honda has the record of most wins with 16. Yamaha is next with 12.5. Last year, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso claimed the Mugello MotoGP win ahead of Vinales and Octo Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci. The 2017 win was Ducati’s second at the track; the other arrived in 2009 with Casey Stoner at the controls of the GP9.6. After a strong start to the season – a win in Qatar, sixth in Argentina and fifth in America – Dovizioso suffered two crashes, dropping him from points leader to ninth with 46 points.7. The top premier-class riders at Mugello are:
Valentino Rossi, 7
Jorge Lorenzo, 5
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), 1
Casey Stoner (Ducati Team), 1
Marc Marquez, 1
Andrea Dovizioso, 1
8. Except for being run off the track at Argentina, where he finished 19th, Rossi has finished fifth or better in every round, including third in Qatar and France. Rossi looked comfortable in France, and his chances of a 10th World Title can gain momentum in Mugello, where there are thousands of ardent Rossi fans.9. The other big threat will be Lorenzo. Though the Spaniard has struggled on the Ducati this season (two DNFs), he finished sixth in France, and is a master rider at Mugello. He’ll be looking for redemption, and to quiet some of the negativity surrounding his performance on the Ducati.10. Free practice at Mugello begins Friday, and is followed by Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s 23-lap Grand Prix of Italy. The race begins at 8 a.m. ET Sunday, and will have riders battling for 75 miles. Visit 2018 MotoGP TV Schedule for additional information.