The Ducati Team has travelled from Germany back home to Mugello, where the Italian Grand Prix–the ninth of eighteen rounds on the calendar–will take place on Sunday. The circuit that twists through the Tuscan hills north of Florence is one of Valentino Rossi’s favourites, and the Italian has no fewer than nine wins there across all classes. Nicky Hayden, who made the Mugello podium in 2006, is also fond of the circuit. At the Sachsenring, both riders made some promising adjustments to the setups of their GP12s, and now they hope to also confirm the effectiveness at of those changes at the fast Italian circuit.

Valentino Rossi

“Last Sunday at the Sachsenring, we used a setup that enabled us to be more consistent and to stress the rear tyre a bit less so that we still had a decent pace at the end of the race. It was our best result of the year so far in the dry, so now we’ll start from that base in an effort to improve at Mugello. It’s the Italian Grand Prix, so everyone, including myself, must make an extra effort to do well in our home race. It’s one of the nicest tracks in the world, in terms of the layout of the circuit, the atmosphere and all the fans that come to watch us and support us. We really have to try to do our best.”

Nicky Hayden

“Although I still have a bitter taste in my mouth about last week’s race, I’m very much looking forward to Mugello. It’s one of the best tracks and races of the whole year, especially being there on a Ducati. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of support, and it’s a pretty busy weekend, but it’s a race and an event that I enjoy. It’s certainly not an easy track, as it’s very technical and you’ve really got to be on your marks there. It will be one of the tracks where we really get to open up the 1000s, and I’m expecting some pretty high top speeds. It hasn’t been an easy track for me with Ducati, but I like it a lot. We need to try to put the whole weekend together and do a good result on Sunday, when it really counts.”

Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager

“Racing at home, at the end of a stretch of three races in a row, is truly a big responsibility for both the team and the riders, but at the same time, it gives us extra motivation. There’s a big difference between a short, narrow track like the Sachsenring, and one that’s old-style, with long straightaways and big, fast corners like Mugello, but we must manage to find the positive aspects of the setup that we identified in Germany. In this way, we can make it possible for Vale and Nicky to do their best, and also to enjoy themselves in a race that means a lot to both of them.”


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