In the traditional Thursday press conference at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM premier class riders Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Iannone were joined by Italian youngster and Moto3™ race winner Romano Fenati to address the media
Previewing the sixth round of the season as he attempts to maintain his perfect start to the season Repsol Honda’s young World Champion Marquez commented:
“I got my first win in Grand Prix in 125cc here but last year it was the most difficult weekend of the year for me at Mugello. In the race though I was fighting for podium and I was quite close to the front before I crashed. One year later and with more experience I hope it will be better. A lot of people will be supporting Valentino and I know Jorge will be fast as he has won for last three years here, but I will look to fight for the victory.”
Looking forward to the 300th Grand Prix of a highly successful career and anticipating a special weekend in front of his thousands of dedicated fans at Mugello, Rossi was in a particularly upbeat mood.
“I’m happy to be celebrating my 300th Grand Prix here in Mugello but I’m happier to be arriving here in good shape,” said the Italian. “It’s important to keep improving, to keep working with the bike and improving my speed. I want to have a good weekend like at Le Mans and Jerez and fight for the podium. This is a good track for Yamaha on paper but Honda have raised their level and it will be hard to beat Marc.”
On the other side of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP garage Lorenzo has been the race winner for the last three years at the Italian track and wants to improve his 2014 form this weekend.
He said, “In Le Mans I hoped to make a good start and to overtake a few riders but I couldn’t. I thought I had made an improvement to the setting but it was worse than I had hoped for in the race. Anyway I am confident here. It’s a special race, it’s a beautiful track and for me it has been a great place. Hopefully we can do something like last year.”
On the back of a highly cherished French podium result from round five GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista strives to continue the recent upward trend in his form. “Le Mans was great for us but now it’s different and we have to start working from the first day of the Grand Prix,” acknowledged the Spaniard. “The aim is to stay on the same level but to finish in the top five here could be quite difficult. I expect Dani (Pedrosa) and Jorge to be more competitive here.”
For Andrea Iannone, in his second year in MotoGP with Pramac Racing a home race provides him with a platform on which to revive his fortunes after two recent DNFs.
He stated, “My bike this year is not too bad, but in the last two races we have not been able to get good results as I’ve crashed out. Ducati are working hard for me and I want to improve the results. Last year I had a lot of injuries but this year I don’t have any physical problems and I have a good feeling. Mugello is a special weekend and for me in particular as I have an Italian bike and an Italian team. I want to improve on my best result in MotoGP this weekend.
As a ‘pupil’ of Rossi, SKY Racing Team VR46 Moto3™ rider Fenati is running well in the lightweight class this year in second place in the standings with two wins to his name already in 2014.
“I am very happy with my form and the start of the season but now we need to work this way throughout the championship,” Fenati commented. “I think we can get some more good results and especially here at Mugello. We have started to work today to get things right for the weekend and we’ll see what we can do. I just want to do my best.”
Earlier in the day the “Infiorata di Scarperia” flower festival received some special guests as Italian riders Michele Pirro, Francesco Bagnaia, Andrea Locatelli and Matteo Ferrari dropped in at the event. That quartet and all their compatriots at Mugello will be looking to put on a good show for the home fans at one of the most colourful weekends on the MotoGP calendar.
Practice at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM starts at 9am local time at Mugello with Moto3™ FP1, followed by the MotoGP™ and Moto2™ morning sessions.