MotoGP Riders reflect on Mugello MotoGP 2016

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MotoGP 2016 Mugello Podium - Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone
MotoGP 2016 Mugello Podium – Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone
Jorge Lorenzo – Yamaha – Race P1 – Championship 1st – 115 points

“It was an unexpected race, because we thought for example that Iannone and Viñales, who had a very high pace, would be fighting until the end for the victory, but in the end it was Marc. He didn‘t look like he had the pace in the practice sessions, but he was following me the whole race. I tried to escape, pushing so much on the changes in direction and I used a lot of energy and I thought I maybe I didn‘t have enough to fight with Marc for the victory, because with him riding behind me he maybe saved more energy and was more powerful at the end, but my luck was the engine this time. When I stayed behind him I thought I was losing the race and tried a bit of a crazy move that I pulled on De Angelis in 250cc in the race in 2005. This memory was in my head, so I said to myself “Why not try the same?” and did it. I passed him but went wide and he overtook me again. In the last corner I tried again under braking, but he closed the door so much that if I had released the brake maybe we could have touched and crashed together, so I decided to stay in second place and make a lot of speed in the last corner and exit with the slipstream and try. When I exited the corner I thought I was losing the race, but my bike caught up with him so much, it was a surprising win. In Moto3 we often see races like this, but in MotoGP this kind of finish doesn‘t happen often. Today, if I had been fighting with Rossi or Iannone, I wouldn‘t have won, it was a crazy battle.”

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda – Race P2 – Championship 2nd – 105 points

“Today we made a good race, we managed to get very close, and finally we made the podium which is always positive, but even with the slipstream I wasn’t able to overtake Jorge. We struggled throughout the weekend with acceleration and top speed. I tried to give my all and I did the best race I could do today, I really tried everything. I took several risks in an attempt to win, but on the home straight Jorge slipstreamed me. Now we have to keep working on acceleration because we’re still lacking a little in that regard. Honda is working hard back in Japan, as we do at the tracks and we’ll try to take a step forward ahead of the next race.”

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez
Andrea Iannone – Ducati – Race P3 – Championship 9th – 41 points

“I am very happy because I made a great recovery and I had a better pace than all the other riders on the track, but unfortunately I couldn’t get a good start. I’m disappointed about that because if I had been closer to the leaders I think I could maybe have been able to fight for the win. When I caught Dovizioso we passed each other a couple of times and we lost a bit of time: after passing him however I no longer had any chance of catching the two up front. I was quick throughout the weekend and this means that I have improved a lot as a rider and that the bike is competitive. In two weeks’ time at Barcelona we will try and do even better.”

Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone
Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda – Race P4 – Championship 4th – 66 points

“It was a better race than the last few we’ve had. The start was demanding, and with a full tank of fuel I lost some ground. However, my pace wasn’t bad and I was able to make back several positions while also taking advantage of mistakes by other riders. I managed to stick with Iannone and increase my pace to try to fight for third position, even if he was a little faster. I followed him, but it was difficult to overtake because he was very fast on the straight and it was hard to get even with him. We learned a lot about our bike in this race, so we’ll try to work on it to take a step forward in the future.”

Dani Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati – Race P5 – Championship 11th – 34 points

“The weekend finished with a good fifth place and that’s positive, especially since I haven’t seen the chequered flag for quite a few races. Starting so far behind could have penalized me, but I was able to get off the line well and immediately reach the leading group. We had worked well on race pace and so I was quite quick, but I was unable to be smooth and half-way through the race I had a problem with arm pump in my right arm and lost a lot of my strength. This problem forced me to drop my pace, but above all it caused me to make a few errors including one at San Donato, which prevented me from remaining in the battle for the podium in the last few laps. I’m disappointed for the team because despite it being a difficult weekend, we managed to find a very good race pace. A podium would have been a good reward but unfortunately this time we couldn’t make it, so we’ll have to continue working to do better from the next round onwards.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso
Maverick Viñales – Suzuki – Race P6 – Championship 5th – 59 points

“I’m very disappointed with the race, we did really well the whole weekend and finally we couldn’t get the deserved result. I really had the feeling we could fight for the podium; both in practice and in warm up I felt very comfortable and confident for a good race. Unfortunately, all the problems came from the start: I had a good jump, but then when it came to put it into fourth-gear something went wrong with the bike’s acceleration and this made me lose so many positions. Then the problem disappeared and everything was working fine for the rest of the race, but because I was behind so many riders, and I had to push very hard to recover, this destroyed the tyres, which were finally too-worn to get closer. It’s a shame because according to the timesheets my pace was as good as the leaders, so this meant that with a good start I could have fought for the podium, which I felt was achievable for us. It’s a pity, but now I need to revise the data with my engineers and understand what happened in order to fix it.”

Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales
Bradley Smith – Tech3 Yamaha – Race P7 – Championship 12th – 29 points

“I am very happy to finally be the top independent rider plus back to where I need to be. I worked on my starts all weekend and we did way more practice than usual but it looks like it paid off! I pulled down the left-hand side and as a result, I was third as we entered the first corner. Yet, to be really honest, I didn’t have such a great pace at the beginning but I aimed to stay as close as possible to the guys in front plus not make any mistakes because I knew that my pace would be better later on. Therefore, I tried to look after the tyres as best as I could and remain consistent. All weekend we felt good and we modified the bike a little bit from Le Mans even though I was already pleased with the feeling. Thirteen seconds behind the leader at the end of the event is a strong result for us and shows that we have worked in the right direction. Petrucci tried to fight me in the last laps but I had a little bit left in the reserve tank so I just went for it in the final part. It has taken us until the sixth round to get to where we were last year, which is quite a long time but we have plenty more races to go to make up the points we lost at the start of the season. Altogether I wasn’t as fast at adapting to the Michelin tyres when compared to some of the other riders, but we can see that we are getting there and I’m confident, plus looking forward to the next round.”

Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
Danilo Petrucci – Octo Pramac Ducati – Race P8 – Championship 16th – 17 points

“It was a good race. My team always did a great job giving me the best bike finding the best solution for every little thing. I struggled in the first 4-5 laps, then I started to push to recover Smith. I tried to do my best and I set the best time with the four remaining laps. I am very happy with how the bike goes and how competitive it is. My regret is to have not been the best Independent rider, as Bradley passed me yesterday and he did it again today for very little, but I’m happy. I will take my revenge in Barcelona.”

Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci
Aleix Espargaró – Suzuki – Race P9 – Championship 6th – 49 points

“Unfortunately I made a very big mistake in the warm up, crashing the bike very badly and my crew had to work very hard to build it up from zero in such a short time and I am very grateful to them. But unfortunately, with the rebuilt bike, I didn’t feel the same confidence I had before, so I couldn’t push very hard. It’s a shame because in the warm up again we made a great step forward and I was feeling very confident. My start was good, my strategy indeed was to jump as fast as possible and gain as much as possible, but what I did wasn’t enough. Let’s hope for a better race in Barcelona, it’s my home circuit and I hope things will get better.”

Michele Pirro – Ducati – Race P10 – Championship 15th – 18 points

“I have to be happy because I achieved my aim of finishing approximately twenty seconds from the winner. I could probably have done better, but half-way through the race I began to feel a vibration in the rear tyre, and in the last two laps this led me to reduce my pace. In any case it was a positive race because we took home some useful information on several new parts we are testing. I want to thank Ducati, the Test Team and all the guys working back in the factory, because we did a good job here and it’s always an emotional feeling to race at Mugello on a Ducati”.

Michele Pirro
Michele Pirro
Cal Crutchlow – LCR Honda – Race P11 – Championship 19th – 10 points

“it wasn’t too bad in the end, I felt after two or three laps that I had some sort of issue with a part of the bike but in the end I’m just happy to finish. There are no excuses, I finished 11th and I think without the issue I wouldn’t have been too much further up anyway. I got boxed out a little at the start and was unable to pass because of the speed of the bike. I finished though, and I felt there was a need to bring the bike home. We needed information and I did that although I did feel some problems towards the end of the race. I didn’t really feel on the limit at all, but I couldn’t push any more with the small problems I was having. I could do one lap fast, and then one lap not so fast because I was having to adjust things on the bike. Overall I’m happy enough to finish, and if I had been in a group I could have possibly gone quicker, but I was never in a group! I played it quite calm over the first ten laps, managed the situation and made sure I finished.”

Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow
Hector Barbera – Avintia Ducati – Race P12 – Championship 8th – 43 points

“This was a weekend to forget. Everyday things got more and more difficult and we were not able to show our real potential. I don’t know if its good or bad, but my crew chief says that I have to realize that we are racing with a two year old bike, and we are doing the same lap times that the factory team did in the past. It’s difficult to go more on the limit than the factory team and we have reach the same lap times or even improved them. It’s clear that my rivals have better machinery and to beat them in fast tracks like this is almost impossible. At the end of the day, we finished another race and we still the best Ducati in the standings, something that we could not even dream with when we started the season. We can’t do more with the bike we have and I think that the team and myself deserve to have a chance, because we always want more.”

Hector Barbera
Hector Barbera
Eugene Laverty – Aspar Ducati – Race P13 – Championship 10th – 36 points

“After such a difficult weekend we salvaged three important points, and that’s the important thing because we struggled to find the correct direction after the crash on Friday. I was getting faster and faster in the race; on the final laps I overtook Bradl and the bike started to feel really good. That’s good information ahead of the next race. Now we really understand this bike better and better. The fact that it was easier for us at the end gives us a good direction to take things. I’m happy to have salvaged points here, but I expect to be stronger in Barcelona”.

Eugene Laverty
Eugene Laverty
Stefan Bradl – Aprilia – Race P14 – Championship 13th – 25 points

“It was definitely a demanding weekend for us. We did a lot of work, testing a lot of solutions, but I never found a 100% satisfactory setup. Even in the warm-up session we made a change that provided some benefits but that we need to look at more closely when we have more time. In the race I had a good start and then I tried to be aggressive straight away. I knew I didn’t have the best pace, so I set my sights on staying with the group. Unfortunately, with ten laps left to go the rubber tank covering that is used to give your legs grip and to stabilise the bike detached, and on a track like this one that cost me the chance of making up a place”.

Pol Espargaro – Tech3 Yamaha – Race P15 – Championship 7th – 48 points

“We had the speed over the entire weekend but we just weren’t able to score the result that we needed to today. The team and I had to face quite a few difficulties at this event, but with regards to the race, if you start from that far behind, you have to either pass a lot of riders really quickly or any hope of a good finish is gone. I tried to overtake as much as I could at the beginning but as a result. I had some contact with other riders which caused me to lose a lot of time in the initial laps. I saw that the group in front was getting away from me so I pushed harder and caught up to Pirro. However, the Ducati’s are strong at this track, so it takes that bit extra to pass them. In the end, I ended up braking a bit too late when I tried to overtake him and I ran off the asphalt. I fell but I was able to pick up the bike and finish the race. We will leave Italy with only one point in our pocket, which is not at all what we aimed for but at least it’s something. Next up is my home GP in Montmelo where I fully intend to do a much better job and seal a great result in front of my home fans.”

Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro
Yonny Hernández – Aspar Ducati – Race P16 – Championship 21st – 3 points

“After a weekend in which we have been very competitive, it is very sad to finish the Grand Prix in this way. We were closer to the top riders than usual and we have done very well in general, but I was very surprised by the penalty. The bike moved a bit off the start: I grabbed the clutch and the bike moved by itself. By the time I realised, it was a little late. It’s a shame because I was having a good race: I was twelfth, which is more or less what we had predicted, and was fighting to enter the top ten -but it was not to be. Anyway, we continue with good energy, in order to face the next race in the best way. I’ll take the positives from this one, which is that throughout the weekend we were among the first ten riders.”

Valentino Rossi – Yamaha – Race DNF – Championship 3rd – 78 points

“It‘s a great shame, because it‘s always a pity when you have a problem with the bike in the race, but here even more so because it was in Mugello in front of all the crowd. I was very competitive in the race and very fast, I had a good start and I was there. I think I could have fought for the victory because I had a very good feeling and a strong pace. It‘s also a great shame because this zero points score for the championship weighs very heavily. Lorenzo and Marquez finished first and second, so now the distance is hard, but it‘s like this. The positive thing is that I was competitive over the whole weekend and I was strong. I could have fought for the victory, so now we wait for the next race in Montmeló. Catalunya is one of my favourite tracks, I like to race there a lot, so I think we will have a good potential, but now we have to wait ten days and after that we will see.”

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi
Jack Miller – Marc VDS – Race DNF – Championship 22nd – 2 points

“My race lasted about 500 metres but you can’t control what is out of your hands. We worked hard all weekend to have good set-up for the race so it’s really disappointing to be taken out at the first corner.  I got hit from behind and Alvaro Bautista also lost the front so I think it was Bautista’s sliding bike that took me out. It’s a shame but the positives are that we improved all weekend, I’m really sorry for the team and the sponsors on a weekend when I felt good about doing a strong race. We need to put this behind us now and look ahead to the next race in Barcelona.”

MotoGP-2016-Mugello-Miller_16GP06_1258_AN
Jack Miller
Scott Redding – Octo Pramac Ducati – Race DNF – Championship 17th – 16 points

“I have not made a mistake and from a certain point of view, I am satisfied with my performance. I also have to thank the team because the pace was very good. The problem? I saw the red light flashing, and I tried to slow down to see if the problem could be solved. But there were no signs of improvement, so I preferred to stop to avoid damaging the engine. I am disappointed because the weekend had been good even if with some ups and downs. We will try again in Barcelona.”

Scott Redding
Scott Redding
Loris Baz – Avintia Ducati – Race DNF – Championship 20th – 8 points

“The race was incredible short for me. I did a good start but it was a lot of traffic on the inside and it was difficult to overtake in the first turn, so I decided to get the outside line, but suddenly someone hit me and I crashed. From the first moment I realized that my foot was broken. I got fractures on the second, third, fourth and fifth metatarsus, and a displacement on the first one. I got set the first one at the circuit medical centre and I will go to the hospital at Geneve on Tuesday to fix the rest. I don’t know How long will take the recovery because is a difficult place and can swell a lot. I will follow the doctor instructions because I don’t want to come back soon and take risks for the next races. More than the race I’ll be disappointed if I can do the test on after the race in Barcelona, because I really need it.”

Loris Baz
Loris Baz
Alvaro Bautista – Aprilia – Race DNF – Championship 14th – 21 points

“After the crash in the warm-up session I had to use the second bike for the race. In the warm-up lap the front brake felt strange, so I adjusted the lever before the start. When I got to the first turn I braked normally, but as I was leaning the bike into it I felt the wheel lock up and I crashed. First of all I want to apologise to Baz and Miller, who I involuntarily involved in my crash. I’m disappointed because, despite the fact that it wasn’t my best weekend, I was confident in my race pace. Now we need to do a mental reset and think about the next round in Barcelona”.

Alvaro Bautista
Alvaro Bautista
MotoGP Mugello 2016 Results - MotoGP
MotoGP Mugello 2016 Results – MotoGP
MotoGP Mugello 2016 Results - MotoGP Championship Points
MotoGP Mugello 2016 Results – MotoGP Championship Points