The winding 5.2 km circuit of Mugello is located 30km north-east of Florence. It hosted its first MotoGP event back in 1976 and became a permanent fixture in 1991 after extensive refurbishment. The track is dearly beloved amongst riders, engineers and fans because of its high-energy levels during a race weekend. The Italian GP draws in thousands of enthusiastic spectators who live and breathe motorsports and enjoy the great views the circuit offers of its fast and slow turns, longest straight and various uphill and downhill sections.
“The Honda isn’t necessarily a dominant machine this year — no other Honda rider is in the top-seven of the standings — but Marquez is proving that he’s still at his peak, echoing shades of 2014, when he started the year with ten straight wins. Dovizioso may be the best bet to end Marquez’s streak says the guys at MyTopSportsbooks.com. While the Italian has struggled (relatively speaking) at the Mugello Circuit for most of his career, he finally registered his first win there last year, and he bested Marquez in the first race of the 2018 season in Qatar, and he was in the lead last weekend in France before mental mistakes caused him to crash out.”
After extending his string of consecutive wins to three in Le Mans last week, Marc Marquez is now heading to Mugello, in Italy—the scene of his first GP win back in 2010—with a 36-point lead in the MotoGP Championship classification.
For the Ducati Team riders it will certainly be a special occasion, seeing as it is the home race for the ‘red bikes from Borgo Panigale’. As they head out to tackle the challenging ups and downs of the beautiful Tuscany circuit, Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo, together with Michele Pirro, entered for the first time this year as a wild-card with the third Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team, will certainly be able to count upon the extra support from the numerous supporters who are packed into the Ducati Grandstand at the Correntaio curve.
Andrea Dovizioso, who has taken part in ten editions of the Italian GP, is familiar with the passionate support from the Mugello fans and last year he was finally able to score his first home win after a splendid race. His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo holds a simply incredible record at Mugello, having won five of the last six editions of the GP and finishing second on three more occasions.
Maverick Viñales is looking to bounce back from a difficult race weekend in Le Mans, France, with full force. The Spaniard was pleased with the progress made during last week’s test in Montmeló, Spain, and is eager to keep the momentum going at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley. He hopes to decrease the gap to the leader in the championship standings, now that he has climbed up to second place.
Dani Pedrosa will be looking to enjoy a better weekend at the Tuscan track after a challenging start to the season and will be hoping his physical condition has improved further since the French GP almost two weeks ago.
Local hero Valentino Rossi is also looking forward to putting on a show for the Italian crowd. Fresh from a third place at the Grand Prix de France, held a fortnight ago, the fans’ favourite has moved up to fourth place in the championship rankings, and he’s motivated to make further progress this weekend at a circuit that is very special to him.
The thrilling Circuit of Mugello adds anticipation for Andrea Iannone at what he considers his home circuit. The Italian has won many races in Italy in the past, and has been one of the protagonists every year. Last year’s performance was under expectations for the Italian rider, but the hugely improved competitiveness found this year compared to 2017 gives him much higher hopes. The crash in Le Mans two weeks ago was a bitter pill to swallow, but yet it was a useful lesson that gave him further knowledge about the potential of rider and machine.
The enthusiasm of youth is the main theme of Italy for Alex Rins, who is approaching the Italian race with a fresh mind and better consistency found in France. After the crashes in the first part of the season his experience has grown and so has his self-awareness, two things that will be of great help in the tough but exciting ups and downs of Mugello.