MotoGP 2014 – Gran Premio d’Italia TIM – Mugello – Official statistics compiled by Dr. Martin Raines
- This is the 29th occasion that a GP has been held at the Mugello circuit, including 24 times in the consecutive years from 1991. Mugello has seen many great races over the years and below are some of the facts and figures from these previous Grand Prix events:
- The first time that Mugello hosted a Grand Prix event was in 1976. The 500 race was won by Barry Sheene by the narrow margin of 0.1 seconds from Phil Read, in a race lasting over 62 minutes. This was at a time when Suzuki riders dominated the premier class; the first non-Suzuki rider home was Waerum Borge Nielsen in tenth place riding a Yamaha
- The layout of the Mugello circuit has remained basically the same since 1976 with the official track length of 5.245km remaining unchanged
- Yamaha have been the most successful manufacturer in the four-stroke MotoGP era at Mugello with a total of eight wins; five successive victories from 2004 through to 2008, in addition to the wins with Lorenzo in the last three years. Honda have had three victories in the MotoGP class at Mugello, the last of which was with Dani Pedrosa in 2010. Ducati’s single win at Mugello was with Stoner in 2009
- Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider across all the classes at Mugello, with a total of nine victories; one each in the 125 and 250 classes to add to his seven successive MotoGP wins, the last of which came in 2008
- Loris Capirossi was the first Italian rider to take a premier class victory at Mugello when he won the 500 race in 2000 after a race-long battle with his countrymen Biaggi and Rossi, both of whom fell in the closing stages
- Last year was the first time since 1995 that there was no Italian rider on the podium in the premier class at Mugello
- The highest recorded maximum speed at Mugello is 349 kph (217 mph) set by Dani Pedrosa in the first free practice session in 2009; this is the highest official speed recorded in MotoGP at any circuit
- The MotoGP race at Mugello in 2004 is the shortest ever premier class Grand Prix race to date. The race lasted just six laps, after the first attempt to run the race was stopped due to rain and then restarted for the remaining laps under the rain rules as they stood at that time
- Italy, together with The Netherlands and Great Britain, are the only three countries that have hosted a motorcycle Grand Prix event in each year since the motorcycling world championship series started in 1949
Valentino Rossi scheduled for 300th Grand Prix start
At the Italian Grand Prix, Valentino Rossi is scheduled to become just the second rider in the 65-year history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing to reach the milestone of 300 GP starts, the other being fellow Italian Loris Capirossi. Below are a collection of statistics relating to Rossi’s long career in Grand Prix racing:
- He has taken part in 299 of the 837 Grand Prix events staged since the start of the World Championship series back in 1949. This means that he has taken part in 35.7% of all Grand Prix events
- He has finished in a point-scoring position a record 266 times in the 299 GP races that he has started
- Rossi has won GP races on seven different motorcycles: 125cc Aprilia, 250cc Aprilia, 500cc Honda, 990cc Honda, 990cc Yamaha, 800cc Yamaha and 1000cc Yamaha
- He is the only rider to have won on 500cc two-stroke, 990cc four-stroke and 800cc four-stroke and 1000cc four-stroke machines
- During his career Rossi has competed at 36 different Grand Prix circuits
- Of these 36 circuits, he has taken at least one GP win at 27 of them. No other rider in the history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing has won at as many different circuits as Rossi
- The circuits at which Rossi has had most GP wins are Catalunya and Mugello, where he has won nine times at each of them
- The circuit at which Rossi has made most Grand Prix appearances is Jerez, where he has made 19 GP starts across the three classes
- Rossi’s victory at the Dutch TT last year, 16 years and 315 days after his first GP win in the 125 class at Brno in 1996, made him the rider with the second longest winning career across all classes, after Loris Capirossi. If Rossi wins another Grand Prix, he will take this record away from Capirossi
The following table shows the seven riders who have made more than 250 GP starts
Marc Marquez levels with Jorge Martinez
- The victory by Marc Marquez at Le Mans was the 37th time that he has been on the top step of the podium in his Grand Prix career. This is the same number of GP wins Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martinez achieved during his career, during which he won four world titles: three in the 80cc class and one in 125cc. Marquez needs just one more GP win to equal the number of career victories achieved by John Surtees, who won a total of seven world titles: four in the 500cc class and three in the 350cc class. Surtees retired from motorcycle racing at the age of 26 and then went on to win the F1 world title in car racing.
- At the age of just 21, Marquez is already the equal 15th most successful GP rider of all-time in terms of Grand Prix wins.
Riders with most Grand Prix victories (all solo classes)
Marc Marquez makes perfect start to the season
At the French Grand Prix, Marc Marquez extended his perfect season of winning every race from pole position and in doing so he continues to re-write the record books:
- His victory at Le Mans made him the youngest ever rider, at the age of 21 years and 90 days, to win five successive races in the premier class, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who was 22 years and 160 days old when he won five successive races in the 500cc class in 1962, riding an MV Agusta
- Marquez is the first rider since Giacomo Agostini in 1972, riding an MV Agusta, to win the opening five races of the year in the premier class
- He is the first rider to win five successive premier class races from pole position since Mick Doohan, on a Honda, won ten successive races in 1997 – having started them all from pole
- He is the first rider to win the opening five races of the year, all from pole position, since Giacomo Agostini in the 500 class in 1971. In 1971, Agostini continued winning from pole all the way through to the eighth race of the year in Finland
- In addition to his five pole positions this year, Marquez also started from pole at the final race of 2013. The last rider to qualify on pole in six or more successive MotoGP races was Casey Stoner, who was on pole at seven successive races in 2008 riding a Ducati
- By winning in France Marquez became the first rider since Valentino Rossi on a Yamaha in 2008 to win five successive MotoGP races
- Marquez has a lead of 42 points in the championship over team-mate Dani Pedrosa. This is the largest points advantage after the first five races in the MotoGP class since 2005, when Valentino Rossi had a 49-point lead over Marco Melandri
At the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, Marquez has the potential to achieve the following:
- By winning in Italy he could become the first rider since Valentino Rossi on a Honda in 2002 to win six or more successive MotoGP races
- He could become only the sixth rider ever to win six or more successive races in the premier class. The other riders who have done this are: Giacomo
- Agostini, Mike Hailwood, John Surtees, Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi
- A victory for Marquez at Mugello would make him the youngest ever rider, at the age of 21 years and 104 days, to win six successive races in the premier class, taking the record from Valentino Rossi who was 23 years and 148 days old when he took the sixth of seven successive wins in the MotoGP class in 2002, also riding a Honda
- Marquez could become the first rider since Giacomo Agostini in 1971, riding an MV Agusta, to win the opening six races of the year in the premier class.
Moto2 stats and trivia
- Tito Rabat continues to lead the standings after five rounds, yet to be headed since claiming victory in the Qatar season opener.
- His lead is now just seven points (the smallest it has been since Texas) over Marc VDS Racing Team team-mate Mika Kallio, who in Jerez and Le Mans recorded back-to-back victories for the first time in his Grand Prix career
- Simone Corsi’s podium finish in France was his sixth in the Moto2 class and first since Germany last year; however, he is yet to finish in the top three at Mugello since 2010, when he came home third to pick up a second consecutive intermediate class rostrum finish
- No rider in the current Moto2 field has won in the class at Mugello. However, a number of competitors have clinched race victories at the Italian circuit in other categories: Mattia Pasini in 125cc/2006 and 250cc/2009, Simone Corsi/125cc/2008, Nico Terol/125cc/2011, Maverick Viñales/Moto3™/2012 and Luis Salom/Moto3/2013
- In four different Moto2 seasons, three different makes of bike have won at Mugello: Speed Up with Andrea Iannone in 2010 and 2012, Suter with Marc Marquez in 2011 and Kalex with Scott Redding in 2013
- Johann Zarco took the fastest race lap in last year’s Moto2 Italian Grand Prix; along with Brno, Mugello is one of only two circuits on which the Frenchman has claimed two fastest laps
- Two Moto2 riders have celebrated birthdays since the French Grand Prix: Josh Herrin turned 24 on the Friday after the Le Mans race, while World Championship leader Tito Rabat became 25 on the Sunday between the French and Italian events
Moto3 stats and trivia
- Jack Miller heads to Mugello with a 30-point championship advantage over Romano Fenati, meaning the Australian will head to Barcelona with the lead no matter what happens in Italy
- Fenati was forced to retire from the French Grand Prix with electrical problems; this was the first time since Mugello last year that the Italian had been unable to finish a race
- KTM has won all races so far in the 2014 Moto3 season. This matches an achievement notched up by Honda and Kalex in the MotoGP and Moto2 categories; as a result, all three hold the maximum possible 125 points in their respective Constructors’ Championship tables
- Last year’s Moto3 Italian Grand Prix was won by Luis Salom, who won a drag race to the line by finishing just 0.099 seconds in front of Alex Rins; less than one second covered the top five, with the group being completed by Maverick Viñales, Miguel Oliveira and Alex Marquez
- Championship leader Jack Miller has raced at Mugello in the World Championship on only two occasions, finishing 21st on a Honda with Caretta Technology in 2012 and tenth on an FTR Honda with Caretta Technology – RTG in 2013
- Only two riders in the current Moto3 field have finished on the lightweight class podium at Mugello: Romano Fenati and Alex Rins were second in 2012 and 2013, respectively
- Alexis Masbou will celebrate his 27th birthday on the Monday after the Italian Grand Prix
Grand Prix racing numbers
- 150 – Valentino Rossi’s second place finish at the French Grand Prix marked the 150th time he had stood on the podium in the premier class. The next most successful rider, in terms of podium finishes in the premier class, is Mick Doohan with 95 to his name
- 18 – Valentino Rossi has finished inside the top eight at the last 18 MotoGP races, since Mugello last year when he crashed on the first lap with Alvaro Bautista
- 16 years – On the day of qualifying at Mugello it will be exactly 16 years to the day since Alex Criville won the 1998 500 French GP, to become the first Spanish rider to lead the premier class World Championship
- 7.088 seconds – At the French GP, Jorge Lorenzo finished in sixth place in the MotoGP race, just 7.088 seconds behind race winner Marc Marquez. This is the smallest time margin covering the top six finishers in a full-length MotoGP race since the 2002 German GP, when winner Valentino Rossi finished just 2.780 seconds in front of sixth place rider Norick Abe
- 6 years – On race day at Mugello, it will be exactly six years since the 2008 Italian GP took place, which was the last time that Italian riders have won all three races at a GP event: 125cc – Simone Corsi, 250cc – Marco Simoncelli and MotoGP – Valentino Rossi.
- 5 years – On the day of qualifying at the Italian GP, it will be exactly five years since Casey Stoner won in Italy in 2009, to give Ducati their first ever MotoGP win at the Mugello circuit
- 4 – There are just four riders who have scored points in all of the first five Moto2 races of 2014: Tito Rabat, Mika Kallio, Sandro Cortese and Anthony West
- 3 – At the French GP Jack Miller took his third GP win in the Moto3 class, which makes him the second most successful Australian rider of all-time in the Moto3/125 class of Grand Prix racing in terms of GP wins. The only Australian rider who has stood on the top step of the podium more often than Miller in the lightweight class of GP racing is Tom Phillis, who took four 125cc GP wins – all of which came in 1961, when he won the world title.
- 2.173 seconds – In the Moto3 race at Le Mans, tenth place finisher Jakub Kornfeil crossed the finish line just 2.173 seconds after race winner Jack Miller. This is the closest top ten in the Moto3/125cc class of Grand Prix racing since the 125 GP at Valencia in 2001, when tenth-placed rider Joan Olive was just 2.078 seconds behind race winner Manuel Poggiali
- 0.64 seconds – The total accumulated time separating the race winners from second place finishers in the five Moto3 races so far in 2014
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP returns to Italy for Valentino Rossi’s first home race of the year, the Gran Premio d’Italia this Sunday at the Mugello circuit in Tuscany. The race is also a home Grand Prix for the team itself, being based alongside the historic Monza circuit in Gerno di Lesmo.
Rossi prepares to entertain his home fans in good form having been at the sharp end of recent races and taking a well earned second on the podium at the last round in France at Le Mans. The local hero remains the only Grand Prix rider ever to take seven straight wins at his home race, scoring consecutive premier class victories at Mugello from 2002 to 2008. Prior to this he also has a 125cc win in 1997 and a 250cc win in 1999. He will be determined to forget last year’s unfortunate DNF after being taken out on the first lap.
Jorge Lorenzo arrives at one of his favourite circuits determined to continue his five-year unbroken Mugello podium run. The track that has seen him claim the last three consecutive premier class wins and two consecutive second place finishes prior to that.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith will once again fight to finish round 6 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in strong positions at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM event.
The action will commence this Friday at the twisting 5245 metre circuit, 30 kilometres northeast of Firenze. The historic track is a popular event for spectators and riders alike featuring six left hand corners and nine right of varying degrees and speed. It is also one of the lengthiest tracks on the Grand Prix calendar featuring the longest straight of all the rounds with a distance of 1141 metres.
Rookie Pol Espargaro will look to build on his superbly executed result of 4th position at the team’s home GP of Le Mans by continuing his learning process on a MotoGP bike at Mugello. Whilst Bradley Smith, who holds the track in high regard, will look to add to his history of convincing results at the famous Tuscan track a battle inside the top five.
The Grand Prix of Italy represents also a special appointment for the team run by Giovanni Cuzari and its main sponsor, NGM, based in Santa Maria a Monte, Pisa only 90 km far from the Tuscan racetrack.
Mugello is also one of Aleix Espargaro and Colin Edwards’s favourite circuits and both NGM Forward Racing MotoGP riders hope to get a good result after the difficult weekend they had in France.
Valentino Rossi – “I am very happy to go to Mugello. This is a beautiful track and I like it so much. This is one of my favourite weekend’s of the season! For this reason I will try to give my best. There are always 25 points as the other races, but Mugello is a matter of honour. Jorge has won the last three years on the Yamaha, doing fantastic races, and this means that the M1 is very competitive on this track. It will be my three hundredth GP this weekend and for that I am not very happy because it means that I’m old but I’m happy because I am in good shape and I can still be very fast! See you at Mugello!”
Jorge Lorenzo – “Well, first of all I would like to forget what happened at Le Mans. There I couldn’t feel good on the bike and therefore we need to think about the future. I will never give up and continue working really hard to get ready when our moment comes. Now we are going to visit some special tracks for me and I think we can change some things to stay in front. We need to try to fight for our first victory of the season. That would be great for all of us, the team and I. Mugello is a suitable scenario for me where I’ve made some good memories in the past few years. It’s a special track and the layout is fantastic for my style of riding. Hopefully we can find our way in Tuscany!”
Massimo Meregalli Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “I am very confident, Mugello is a circuit that really suits our bike. Jorge has won the last three races there, it’s the second home race for Vale who also has a great Mugello record and it’s the home race for the team as we are based not so far away. We are excited for Friday morning to get started. It looks like the weather may not be great with some rain on Friday and Saturday but race day should be fine! I expect to see a huge crowd and we plan to put on a good show for everybody.”
Pol Espargaro – “I am excited to ride at Mugello which is a track I thoroughly enjoy and one that will suit the Yamaha YZR-M1 favourably due to it’s sweeping and fast flowing corners. However it looks like it will rain during the weekend which could be tricky as I have not ridden in the wet on a MotoGP bike before. Yet as always I will aim to learn as much as possible especially in the damp conditions and will focus on getting a strong setup so that I can be as prepared as possible for the race at this technical and demanding circuit. I qualified on pole here in Moto2 in 2012 plus scored 3 podiums in the 125 and Moto2 classes so I look forward to building on my experience.”
Bradley Smith – “After a tricky race at Le Mans I am ready and excited for Mugello which is one of my favourite tracks. I really like the nature of the circuit plus Yamaha is the most successful MotoGP manufacturer at this track so we must feel confident. I won from pole position in 2009 in the 125 class and also qualified on the front row before clinching 3rd in 2011 on the Tech3 Moto2 bike, so I know I can ride well here. We’ll have to take it step by step as it could rain, but I aim to get a solid setup sorted on Friday so that I can get a top 6 qualifying position in preparation for the 23-lap race on Sunday. The crowd is always amazing, also the track is fantastic so I am ready to fight for success.”
Aleix Espargaro – “I’ve always liked Mugello. I really enjoy the fast corners there and the fast changes of direction. We will suffer in the long straight in terms of top speed but in general I think that the layout of the track should suit well our Forward Yamaha. I’m really looking forward to get back on the bike and get some good result.”
Colin Edwards – “After the difficult weekend we had in France, I look forward to the Italian GP, where we will test some new parts. Mugello is a very demanding track and it’s crucial to find a good set up of the bike.”
Repsol Honda RC213V rider Marc Marquez has his sights set on yet another “youngest-ever” record at next weekend’s Italian GP at the magnificent Mugello circuit. Should the defending World Champion succeed in continuing his scintillating run of form, it will be his sixth win in succession – total domination for the first third of the 2014 World Championship season.
The 21-year-old factory Honda rider from Cervera, Spain has been undefeated at every race so far this year, winning every time from pole position, to secure a significant 42-point lead in the early stages of the 2014 World Championship – a towering start in his quest to win a second successive MotoGP title.
In only his second season in the premier class, the former 125cc and Moto2 World Champion has been ably backed by experienced Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who lies second overall after his own consistent start to the season.
Their combined results have given the Repsol Honda team an enormous 82-point lead in the Team Championship; while six straight wins put Honda well ahead in the Constructor points table. The team and factory have won both categories for the past three years.
This year, the official Honda squad has shown its strength at a variety of venues. Now the test begins again at a circuit with a strong character of its own. Set in scenic countryside overlooked by the Mille Miglia route over the Apennine mountains, Mugello boasts one of the fastest straights, as well as a technically challenging combination of fast ess-bends with the added complication of sharp climbs and steep descents.
For Marquez, Mugello offers mixed memories. In 2010 it was the scene of his first GP win. He won nine more 125 races that season to dominate the series. Switching to Moto2, he won at Mugello again the following year, dropping to fifth in 2012, the year he secured the Moto2 crown.
Last year he walked away from the fastest-ever crash in racing, after losing control of his Repsol Honda RC213V in practice at around 330 km/h. He bounced back for a podium challenge in the race, only to fall again after taking second place. It was his only such non-finish of his triumphant rookie season.
In his second year, adding premier-class experience to his natural speed, he has been even stronger.
Mugello has been a happy hunting ground also for fellow-Spaniard Pedrosa, with a 250 win in 2005, his second year of winning the mid-class title, having already succeeded in the 125 class. In eight attempts in MotoGP, he numbers victory in 2010 among five podium finishes, and has started the last two races from pole position, finishing second on each occasion.
Pedrosa has made a strong start to 2014, with four podiums in five races, including two second places. Arm-pump issues occasioned remedial surgery after the Jerez race, start of the European season. Still recuperating, he managed a top five two weekends ago at the French GP at Le Mans.
The Repsol riders are backed by two satellite riders. The better of these so far is Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V), lying sixth overall. After crashing out of the lead of the first race, the German has added strong top-ten finishes including a fourth and a fifth. He too underwent surgery to alleviate arm-pump surgery after the Spanish GP.
Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Gresini Honda RC213V) has made a strong come-back after a troubled start to 2014, crashing out of the first three races. He bounced back to sixth in Spain, then stormed to his first rostrum since 2012 at Le Mans, where he finished third. The Spanish former 125cc World Champion has a special role: he and rookie team-mate Scott Redding are race-testing Japanese Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, made by companies associated with Honda.
Redding is one of four riders on Honda’s new production-racer RCV1000R, a close replica of the hugely successful 1000cc V4 RC213V. In his first MotoGP season, the Briton – Mugello winner and runner up in the Moto2 championship last year – has made an impressive start as he adapts to more than double the horsepower of his previous mount. A best of seventh in the opening round at Qatar has been followed by points scored at all but one of the other races.
Leader of the production Honda pack, however, is the vastly experienced American Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R), in spite of a non-finish at Le Mans, where he was innocent victim of a first-corner crash. Hayden won the 2006 World Championship on a Repsol Honda; and his 2014 return to the marque sees him 12th overall.
His team-mate, former Honda 250 champion Hiro Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R), is close behind in 13th. Redding is next in 14th, three points adrift.
The fourth RCV1000R is ridden by Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham; the Czech rider also in the points at all but one race, is currently 17th overall. As well as adapting in his first season on a Honda, Abraham is gaining physical strength after a lengthy recuperation from major shoulder surgery.
The Italian GP is the sixth of 18 rounds, and third in the European season. The venue is spectacular, set in a narrowing valley packed with passionate fans, in an iconic venue for Grand Prix racing.
Sweeping across both sides of the valley in a lap of 5.245 km (3.259 miles), there are nine right-hand and six left-hand corners, forming a series of loops and high-speed chicanes. It is most famous for its 1.1-km “straight”, undulating past the pits to finish over a blind brow at more than 350 km/h, followed directly by a hard braking for a 120-km/h corner.
Used fitfully in the 1970s and 1980s, the track outside Florence underwent a major refit for new owner Ferrari, and joined the calendar full time in 1991. In 23 years Honda has taken 12 wins in the Tuscan foothills.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda – “Le Mans was a great weekend for us and although it may look easy from the outside, it is a result of a lot hard work with the team over the weekend to set the bike up. Mugello is a tricky circuit – one of the hardest on the calendar – and we struggled a lot last year. I had many crashes over the weekend and then crashed out of the race also. Now I have an extra year’s experience and I hope it will go more smoothly for us! I know that Valentino will be very strong at his home race, Jorge has won there for the past three years and Dani is also very fast there, so we will need to stay focused, and if we cannot challenge for the win then we must take important points for the championship.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – “Mugello is a very fast track with many long corners so finding the optimum set up and grip is essential. The atmosphere is also very special in Mugello and the weather usually perfect so I look forward to going there and racing in front of a full crowd! In the past few races my overall pace has been good but I’m hoping to improve in qualifying.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP – “I am very excited about next weekend in Mugello. This is one of my favourite race tracks: I like the layout and the fast corners and I hope that we can for go for a better result because we struggled too much at Le Mans. In the last two years I finished the race in fourth place and it would be great to gain the podium amongst all the LCR supporters. This race is very important for Lucio and his team and we must regain our standard placement up in the pack.”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini – “At Le Mans we had a great race, but we want to keep our feet firmly on the ground, so we look at Mugello with the same attitude as always, working step by step. The podium in France, however, allows us to be more relaxed on a track with long, fast corners which might be difficult for us. Our bike has improved in several areas after the Jerez post-race test, especially regarding suspension and brakes: improvements which helped us on a track like Le Mans. If they will work as well also at Mugello, we can say that we start from a really good base. It will be difficult to get on the podium, we have to be realistic, but we will try to stay as close as possible to the factory bikes, as always. This Grand Prix is also really important for all the team, so it would be nice to get a good result in front of so many people who will come to support us, for the sponsors and for all the guys in the squad.”
Nicky Hayden, Drive M7 Aspar Honda – “Mugello is one of my favourite circuits. I love riding there and the races are always different – the atmosphere is incredible. The track itself is awesome, so are the fans, so overall it’s one of the best races of the season. Mugello is a technical track, it’s not easy at all, with a lot of blind corners and some bumps. I always have fun riding it though and I hope that continues this season. We will try to get the best out of our bike and tackle the circuit as best we can. I am looking forward to getting started and seeing how competitive we can be at Mugello. Hopefully we can have a good weekend and put the bad luck from the last race behind us. This is an incredible circuit so hopefully we can do a good job there for the team and the sponsors.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar Honda – “Mugello is one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. It has some very technical corners and a long straight. But every time I ride the bike I feel more comfortable and I am highly motivated for this next race in Italy. I guess the long straight will not be good for us but on the other hand we have a great handling bike for the corners. Mugello is difficult but in general I love it. We will keep working in the same direction as the last few races to try and get the bike turning better. We are doing a great job here and the results are coming, but we would like to take that next step and start finishing races in higher positions.”
Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini – “I won the race last year at Mugello in Moto2 quite comfortably: I enjoy the track a lot and I’m sure that it’s going to be even more exciting on a MotoGP bike. I’ve tested there with a MotoGP machine in the past, so I already know the reference points a little bit. Mugello is a very physical circuit, with many changes of direction, and also it’s going to be hot there, so I’m going to prepare myself for that, in order to be ready to fight again. Finally, the track needs you to be smooth and flowing, so it could be a little bit more difficult for our bike. But we never know what can happen, so we will see how it goes.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing Honda – “I was a bit lucky to get the final point in France, and I expected better of myself, because my shoulder is well recovered now. Mugello is a great track and I look forward to riding the Honda there, but I am not sure what to expect. The aim is to keep on getting stronger race by race, and I will be trying as hard as ever to do that.”
This week the Ducati Team arrives at the spectacular Autodromo del Mugello in the heart of the Tuscany hills for the Italian GP, which is always one of the most popular and prestigious rounds in the calendar.
For the two Ducati Team riders, it is a truly special event, seeing as it is the home race for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer and is sure to attract massive numbers of tifosi to the Ducati Grandstand at the Correntaio curve.
Andrea Dovizioso, in his second year on the Desmosedici, began his GP career in the 125cc class in 2001 at Mugello, while for Cal Crutchlow it will be the first time on a Ducati at the Tuscany circuit.
Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro will also be taking part in the Mugello race, running as a wild-card entry for the second time this season on the GP14 ‘lab’ bike.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – “The Mugello circuit suits the characteristics of our GP14 a bit better, so I think we can go quite well during the weekend. Our approach in any case is to get the most as possible out of the bike. Last year I scored a good fifth place and I hope to do a good race again this year. Before Le Mans we did a private test here with some positive feedback, and now I can’t wait to get to Mugello for our home race, where there is always a special atmosphere.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – “I think coming to Italy, the home of Ducati, and Mugello is a really great experience. The track was very kind to me last year, when I qualified fourth and finished on the podium with third. Me and Andrea will be pushing 100% to try and be competitive with the other guys on the grid, even though it’s not going to be easy. I’m also really looking forward to all the support from the Ducati fans at our home race, and I feel sure it’s going to be crazy!”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – “It’s always really emotional to race here at Mugello, one of the most beautiful circuits in the championship. For us it’s also our home race, seeing as the Ducati factory is less than an hour away from here. It’s a track we know very well and as a result we hope to do well: me and the other two Ducati Team riders will do our best to give some satisfaction to our fans. In addition, about 50 members of my fan club will be joining the Ducati Grandstand and so for me it’ll be a special occasion, giving me more motivation to do well.”
The Desmosedici GP14 machines of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow, as well as that of factory test-rider Michele Pirro, will be carrying the symbol of ‘100 years of EICMA’ this weekend. During the Italian GP and the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP scheduled for September 14 at Misano, Ducati has made space available for EICMA on the front fairing of their red GP14 machines, providing a further means of communication and visibility for the 100th anniversary of the EICMA show, which will be held from 4 to 9 November at the Rho-Milano Trade Fair area.
Located 30km north-east of Florence in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany, Mugello is a modern circuit with excellent facilities. Bought by Ferrari back in 1988, the 5.245 km track has been renovated to a high standard and is one of the world’s most up-to-date, scenic and safest race circuits. A blend of slow and fast turns with sweeping curves, long straights and off-camber corners make Mugello one of the most challenging circuits for riders and engineers. Having hosted its first MotoGP event back in 1976 the venue became a permanent fixture in 1991 after extensive refurbishment. Set within a tree-lined valley, Mugello offers ample viewing areas for a particularly boisterous and partisan Italian crowd.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Mugello is the venue for round six of the MotoGP™ championship, and the Italian circuit is a favourite for riders and fans alike due to its picturesque hill-side setting and its fast layout which sees the fire-breathing 1000cc machines reach one of the their fastest top speeds of the season.
The Mugello circuit combines fast and slow corners with one of the longest straights on the MotoGP calendar. This straight is preceded by the constant-radius Bucine corner which hurls the riders down the hill towards turn one at speeds approaching 350km/h. Turn one at San Donato is a low-speed right hander so the braking zone at the end of the straight is the most intense in MotoGP and requires front tyres with extremely high levels of stability and safety.
In addition to the heavy acceleration and braking zones, the flowing sections like Casanova-Savelli, Biondetti, and Arrabbiata 1 and 2, require very high levels of grip from the edge and traction area of the tyre. With nine right-handed corners compared to just six left-handers, Bridgestone will provides asymmetric rear slicks with slightly harder rubber on the right shoulders compared to the left.
For the Ducati and Open-class riders, the rear slick tyre options are the soft and medium compounds, while the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders will be offered the medium and hard compound rear slicks. Bridgestone’s front slick tyre compounds for the Italian Grand Prix are the soft, medium and hard compounds and will ensure riders have enough options to manage every kind of weather condition that may present itself this weekend. The main wet tyre option for the Italian Grand Prix will be the hard compound, although every rider will be able to select the softer compound wet tyre if cooler conditions are encountered.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department – “The Italian Grand Prix at Mugello creates a real sense of excitement as it’s a real ‘riders’ track which demands maximum respect due to its fast and twisty layout. It’s a circuit where Jorge has dominated the last few years, and where Valentino also has a very good record, so I’m interested to see if Yamaha will finally be able to halt the winning form of Marc and Honda in the moment. It’s also Ducati’s home circuit, so I hope to see their riders challenging for the podium in front of their legions of fans this weekend. Apart from supporting the teams and riders on Grand Prix weekends, it’s a very busy time for Bridgestone at the moment with many private team tests happening recently, and next week Suzuki will be testing at Phillip Island. All this activity means our team of technicians are travelling all over the globe as we push on one-hundred-percent with our MotoGP tyre development programme.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department – “Mugello is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and is tough on tyres because of this speed, as well as the track temperature that can reach above 50 degrees Celsius. We expect temperatures to be high, with track temperatures reaching above 50°C, but we must always consider that lower temperatures can also occur, particularly in the morning sessions. The track surface is grippy and abrasive and there are significant elevation changes all of which combine to make this circuit quite aggressive on tyres. The numerous heavy braking points, especially those that are downhill, demand a strong front tyre whilst the many high speed corners require good stability and edge grip from the rear tyre. Top speeds here are usually the highest of the season and this puts significant strain on the centre section of the rear tyres.”