2013 Mugello MotoGP Preview Press Releases

Press release previews from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:


Yamaha Factory Racing Prepare for 'Home' Grand Prix at Mugello

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 28th May 2013

Yamaha Factory Racing set up for their ‘home’ race in Italy this weekend for the Gran Premio d'Italia at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello near Florence. Nestled deep in the Tuscan hills, the Mugello circuit is just over 300km from the team’s base in Gerno di Lesmo, near Milan. The track is a favourite for both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, with each scoring multiple victories across classes. Lorenzo can claim one 250cc win, two second place premier class finishes in 2009 and 2010 and the last two consecutive premier class victories in 2011 and 2012.

Rossi’s Mugello record includes one 125cc win in 1997, a 250cc win in 1999 and then an incredible seven-year consecutive premier class win streak at Mugello from 2002 to 2008, making him the only Grand Prix rider ever to take seven straight wins at his home race.

The Mugello circuit is one of the fastest tracks on the MotoGP calendar. With a straight of over a kilometre in length fans can expect to see some incredible speeds as the 1000cc machines get pushed to the limit. The rest of the 5.245km track is guaranteed to provide exciting racing with 15 turns, varied camber and gradient changes and high speed chicanes set on an extra wide track with many overtaking possibilities.

Jorge Lorenzo

“I'm looking forward to visiting Mugello after suffering a very disappointing weekend at Le Mans. It was a tough race for us and I want to recover points at Mugello, a good track for me. I like the circuit a lot because of its layout, plenty of long and high-speed corners. I have a lot of good memories there and I would like to make a positive weekend. 

I think also for Yamaha it is a good place to get the best performance. The circuit is amazing to ride and also the temperature is quite warm, as well as Jerez. The crowd is also very passionate there.

 The only weak point for us is the long straight, where maybe our rivals are stronger than us, but in general the track is very suitable for our bike. I can`t wait to go to Italy and find the pace. We need to cut away the gap to the front but anyway, the Championship is long so we have to be calm.”

Valentino Rossi

“I am very happy that we go to Mugello. I love this track and I'm really happy to go back there with Yamaha. This is a track that I really like and a good result is important. Unfortunately we are still not fast enough so we need to improve, especially in dry conditions. We must work hard and improve the bike. The Mugello race will be difficult, but we will try to do everything to get the best result. A podium would be really nice. I believe that there will be many people at Mugello so I'm happy and the heat in Mugello is always good!”

Wilco Zeelenberg

Team Manager

”Well, after Le Mans where the result was very disappointing for us we need to make a good race. After three races where we have not found the pace wanted we will try to get some good points to keep our focus on the Championship. We know our rivals are really strong but there are still 14 races to go, this is quite long and the first track where we have to fight for the victory is Mugello. This circuit I think suits Jorge and Yamaha quite well so we hope to start in a good way.”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“I'm really looking forward to the Mugello race. This is our first home race and it’s a really nice circuit, a really nice place and there are always a lot of fans there. I think now that Valentino is back with a competitive bike more people will come to see the race as well. We always get a good result at this circuit so we are looking for a completely different result from Le Mans. We will start the first practice really focused to prepare the entire weekend in the best possible way and we will see what will happen on Sunday afternoon.”


Repsol Honda arrive in Italy leading the Championship

This weekend the MotoGP paddock heads to Mugello for the GP of Italy, the fifth round of the 2013 World Championship

After a cold and wet weekend in Le Mans, Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez will be looking forward to the Tuscan sunshine and hoping to continue their run of double podiums. The Mugello track has a blend of slow and fast turns with sweeping curves, long straights and off-camber corners making it one of the most challenging circuits for the riders and engineers.

Dani, fresh from his fantastic win in France, celebrates seven podium finishes in Mugello including two victories (2010 in MotoGP, 2005 in 250cc) and now leads the World Championship standings. Marc, who experienced his first race in the wet aboard the MotoGP machine in France and achieved a well earned 3rd place, has also been victorious on two occasions in Mugello (2011 in Moto2 and 2010 in 125cc), he is 2nd just 6 points behind Dani in the standings.

Dani Pedrosa Championship Standing: 1st - 83 points

"After a the race in Le Mans, I've managed to relax this week and I feel good physically. Mugello is a nice track and one that I really enjoy to ride. It's a fast track with long corners so it's important to have a good feeling with the bike. Usually the weather is good to us and there is a great atmosphere with all the fans there. I am leading the Championship which is very special so I hope we can arrive in Mugello and that the bike works well there too and we can do a good race!"

Marc Marquez Championship Standing: 2nd - 77 points

"I'm really pleased with the race in Le Mans, it was great experience for me to ride in the wet but now I am happy to go to Mugello and hopefully have some nice weather! Mugello is a difficult circuit, perhaps one of the most difficult in the World Championship. It has many changes of direction so we must work hard from the beginning to find the right set up. These coming to races will be very important as they are difficult circuits and we must remain focused. The other riders are so fast in Mugello so I'm sure it's going to be tough, but as always we will try our 100%!"


Ducati Team prepares for home GP at Mugello

Buoyed by its recent positive showing at the French Grand Prix, the Ducati Team is preparing for its home round at the Mugello Circuit in the hills of Tuscany. Always one of the most popular rounds on the championship tour, this year’s edition of the Italian Grand Prix has been moved forward on the calendar to the start of June, and it’s sure to draw a host of fans, many of whom will be cheering on Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden from the Ducati Grandstand at the Correntaio curve.

The Italian will be competing aboard the Desmosedici GP13 for the first time at Mugello, where he began his Grand Prix career in 2001 (in the 125cc class), and where he has finished on the premier-class podium in each of his last three visits. Hayden also had a strong performance last year at the track, threatening for the podium before running off the track on the final lap.

Also in action at Mugello will be Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro, making his second wildcard appearance this season on the GP13 ‘lab bike’ following on from his Jerez debut; it will be the third race in a row for the Italian, who also took part in the Le Mans round, where he finished eighth as a substitute for Ignite Pramac Racing rider Ben Spies.

Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team

“I definitely can’t wait to do the Mugello weekend, as it’s the nicest circuit in the world. It’s Ducati’s ‘house,’ and there will certainly be many fans on hand, so it’s really a lot of fun to race there. We’ve already had some tests, so we’ll be prepared, although it will be difficult because we still have basically the same GP13 from Le Mans. It’s a tough track that’s physical and very fast, although I don’t think it’ll be bad for us. Mugello is always a good circuit for me, and having the support of Ducati and its fans should help us to have a good weekend.”

Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team

“Of course we’re extremely excited to go to Mugello. It’s a great race at a great track with a great atmosphere—really one of the best GPs of the year, especially when you’re riding a Ducati! Our bike was built around the circuit, so it works well there; the straightaway suits the Desmosedici because you come onto it so fast. It’s a tough track—really challenging, technical and physical, with a lot of blind sections and elevation changes—but it’s one that I like a lot. We’re not expecting miracles, but I think we can do well. The Italian Ducati fans have stuck with us through a lot, and it would be nice to leave Mugello with a result they can all be proud of.”

Michele Pirro – Ducati Test Team

“First of all, I’m very happy to be making my second wildcard ride, and I’d like to thank Ducati for this opportunity. At Le Mans I did my best to adapt to the standard GP13, which I find quite different from the development version that I’ll be going back to this weekend. Mugello is close to Ducati’s offices, and we’ve done a lot of testing there, so I’m ready for the race. Doing the last two races in a row has helped to prepare me, so I hope to be able to gather some good data for the team and to be closer to the top guys with my lap times. It would be great to do a good result in front of the Italian fans, in order to show that we’re working in the right way with the bike.”

Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager

“Mugello is our home race. We were able to do a test there earlier this month, so we already have an idea about the setup we’ll use. It could be hot at Mugello in June, and that might be a variable since it was fairly cool when we tested. Still, both Nicky and Andrea did a good job at the test, and we have good data from them and our test riders, so we expect to have a good race. As for support, there will be many people from Ducati at Mugello, along with a lot of Ducati fans, and everyone in our grandstand always does something special to demonstrate their enthusiasm. We’ll see what they’ve come up with for this year!”


MOTOGP ARRIVES IN TUSCANY FOR FIFTH ROUND OF THE SEASON

Aleix Espargaró looks to continue CRT dominance at Mugello as Randy De Puniet aims to bounce back from Le Mans disappointment

The fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship takes place in Italy this weekend with Dani Pedrosa (two), Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo (one apiece) having shared the victory spoils so far. Now is the moment for Valentino Rossi to see if he can become the fourth winner of the season in his home Grand Prix. Mugello is one of the most legendary circuits on the calendar, twisting its way through a magical valley that hums to the beat of the tifosi on the most important weekend on the Italian motorcycling calendar.

POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet may be from Spain and France respectively but the Mugello round is one that they always look forward to, as much for the fast corners and elevation changes that make this track so special as their own happy memories of past races here. Aleix remains the man to beat in the CRT pack having again dominated with an iron fist in difficult conditions last time out at Le Mans. Randy enjoyed a fantastic weekend in his home Grand Prix up until an unfortunate crash in the race but he is hoping the progress he made during practice can be the springboard to an improved performance and a better result this weekend.

Aleix Espargaró: "I am looking forward to racing at Mugello, a circuit I love. It is fast and not too dissimilar to Barcelona, which is my favourite track. It is one of the best tracks you can wish for on a MotoGP bike because it is long, wide, with all kinds of corners and a lot of grip. Practice went well for us here last year and we were quite close to the factory bikes but I ran off track in the race, lost a lot of time and was unable to catch up with my team-mate. I didn't manage to finish as the top CRT at Le Mans last year I either but this year we turned it around so let's see if we can do it again. Hopefully I can continue to dominate in CRT. I always enjoy coming to Mugello and I hope we take more good memories from this season. It sounds like they have had a lot of rain there lately so hopefully we get some good weather and enjoy another fantastic weekend."

Randy De Puniet: "We finally managed to get a feel for the bike at Le Mans and after working hard during the first three rounds of the season I felt competitive again. It was just a shame that I had a problem with my helmet and I ended up crashing so we couldn't round off a positive weekend at my home Grand Prix. Now I am already looking forward to Mugello, a circuit I love and have a lot of good memories from. Last year I finished as the top CRT here and now I go full of confidence on the back of a good weekend last time out, even though it didn't finish with the right result. Now I am sure we can pick up in the right way in Italy and have another good weekend."


HOME RACE FEVER

After a difficult race at Le Mans that took place in variable weather Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini this week heads to its home Grand Prix at Mugello. It's always an important round for Fausto Gresini's team, which has its headquarters close to the circuit, but for Alvaro Bautista it also represents a big opportunity to score a top result on the back of a positive performance in France. Recent technical progress and constant set-up improvements have given Alvaro more confidence with the bike and thanks to the tireless work from Showa's suspension staff there is plenty of optimism within the team going into an important run of races before the summer break. Bryan Staring continues to work hard to develop the team's CRT bike whilst also getting used to the unique demands of MotoGP and a host of new circuits. It is no easy task for the rookie Australian but his work ethic is relentless and he is determi ned to produce a result for the team in their home GP.

Alvaro Bautista “We had a really good feeling for the bike at Le Mans even though the conditions were particularly difficult in the race. We found a good wet setting and in general the team did a very good job, especially considering the fact that we were working off data from a less than perfect weekend last year there. This year we found a good feeling and were setting lap times in line with the guys who finished on the podium an d even though I am still having some problems getting the bike out of the corners we are making good progress with the bike in general. I have stepped up my physical training programme this week and enjoyed a really good weekend for my riders in the Spanish Championship - Maria Herrera, Dani Saiz and Juanjo Nunez - with Maria scoring her first win. Mugello is a completely different circuit to Le Mans. It is technical, fast, with various changes in direction and elevation. It will be important to stay focused and do a good job from the first minute to the last to make sure that we bury the memory of a bad weekend last year. I am determined to get a good result and and I know this is a special Grand Prix for the team because it is their home race.”

Bryan Staring “There should be a fantastic atmosphere at Mugello because this is the home race for Team Go&FUN Honda Gresini. I want to put the result from Le Mans behind me as quickly as possible and in order to do that I need to work hard from the first session to learn the layout and make progress with the bike set-up. It is another new circuit for me but on paper the layout looks exciting. I really want to have a good race here and close down the gap to the points-scoring positions.”

Fausto Gresini “After a positive race for Alvaro at Le Mans we go to the home race for Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini, where it will be important for us to confirm our recent form with another determined and hard-working weekend. The feeling with the Showa suspension is improving from race to race and this excellent technical relationship we have with them is improving the bike and giving Alvaro more and more confidence. Our home Grand Prix is always a special occasion for the team and it will be important for our riders to perform in front of an Italian crowd. Alvaro is Spanish of course but he loves the Italian fans and I am sure he will do everything he can to give them something to shout about. Bryan is also looking forward to the race and the motivation is there for him to put Le Mans behind him. He is making progress and the weekend in France will serve as a learning experience that will ultimately help him to improve.”


BRADL HAPPY TO BE BACK AT THE SPECTACULAR ITALIAN VENUE

Mugello, 30 May: LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl faces a new challenge in Italy at the magnificent Mugello circuit this weekend. The former Moto2 World Champion lies 11th overall after two earlier non-finishes, and will be striving to make amends at Mugello, where newly improved machine settings should give him the chance to regain lost ground.

“I have very good memories about my first race in the premier class at Mugello circuit. I finished the race in fourth, impressing everybody and I felt very happy about my performance because I really like the Italian circuit. This weekend is one of the most important for LCR and a lot of supporters are keen to see me and to give me an extra boost. The atmosphere will be warm but not the weather. However I am looking forward to this race and it would be amazing to repeat last years result. In Le Mans we have found a good way to solve our front-end issue and I could lap with more confidence. The race was particularly tough due to the rainy conditions but I arrive in Italy with high motivation and a good overall package.”


First Italian race in the 2013 World Championship

The 5th round of the MotoGP World Championship will be held at the Mugello circuit, more than five kilometers of track winding through woods and over the green hills of Tuscany, 30km from Florence.

The course is notable for its uphill straightaway that's more than 1km long, where racers can reach speeds of about 340 km/h. There are lots of elevation changes and fast, blind, tricky corners like the "Arrabbiata 1" and the "Arrabbiata 2". Also worth noting is the Casanova-Savelli, a right-left, downhill chicane, which can particularly impact lap time.

Important renovation work was performed in 2011 to improve safety standards, completely renew the asphalt and build a new central pavilion of covered box seats that can accommodate up to 4,500 spectators.

The circuit is a particular favorite of Andrea Iannone, who made it to the top step on the podium twice with the Moto2 class, in 2010 and 2012, while the last victory by a motorcycle from the Ducati stables dates back to 2009 with Casey Stoner.

Andrea spent his week off dedicating himself to getting back into physical shape after the contemporaneous hardships of an operation to his forearm and a fall he took at the Jerez Circuit.

Following the French race, which was important in order to understand the consequences of his injuries and the reaction of his muscle, the Italian rider and his team are coming to the circuit determined to find a setup good enough to make him a contender in the home race.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team

“I'm ready for our home track. I’d like to find my setting in time to be fast starting with the first practice session tomorrow, and we’ll work with this goal in mind. During these days, I trained myself to recover strength in the arm; my knee is healing, and I hope it won’t be too painful, since we also removed the stitches from my arm and knee. This is a track that I like. I’ve had a lot of success here in the past few years in Moto2, and it’s really a great experience to be on the podium. Maybe that’s not yet our goal, but I definitely want to have a good race. I will also have a new helmet for this race that shows my ‘misadventures’ starting from the beginning of my MotoGP World Championship.”


First Italian race in the 2013 World Championship

The 5th round of the MotoGP World Championship will be held at the Mugello circuit, more than five kilometers of track winding through woods and over the green hills of Tuscany, 30km from Florence.

The course is notable for its uphill straightaway that's more than 1km long, where racers can reach speeds of about 340 km/h. There are lots of elevation changes and fast, blind, tricky corners like the "Arrabbiata 1" and the "Arrabbiata 2". Also worth noting is the Casanova-Savelli, a right-left, downhill chicane, which can particularly impact lap time.

Important renovation work was performed in 2011 to improve safety standards, completely renew the asphalt and build a new central pavilion of covered box seats that can accommodate up to 4,500 spectators.

In the Ignite Pramac Racing Team pit work has resumed with ‘head’ pilot Ben Spies, who will be calling on information gathered during the French GP, in collaboration with test pilot Michele Pirro.

The team will be greeting Ben with a "Welcome Home" to this Italian circuit, where in 2011, in his second year in MotoGP, he earned a 4th place finish.

Ben Spies –Ignite Pramac Racing Team

“I'm better than before. I’ve worked intensively to prepare the muscles for the effort required by a MotoGP bike, and especially the Desmosedici, and now I’m here with the team, ready to get back to work. I’m certainly not at 100% fitness yet, but in the next few days I’ll understand better as I ride my bike. The Mugello circuit isn’t the easiest one for making my return, as the track is challenging, and since it’s Ducati’s ‘house,’ there will be a lot of pressure and a lot of fans! Still, I'm happy to get back to competing in the World Championship and I would like to thank Michele Pirro for having worked with the team in my absence at Le Mans GP.”


Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 5: Italy, Mugello

29 May 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)

Mugello is the venue for round five of the 2013 MotoGP™ season and the first of two races on the Italian peninsula this year. The circuit is both a rider and fan favourite owing to its sinuous layout and picturesque setting.

The Mugello circuit is fast and flowing with one of the longest straights on the MotoGP calendar. This straight is preceded by the horseshoe-shaped Bucine corner which slingshots the riders down the hill towards turn one at speeds approaching 350km/h. Consequently, the braking zone into San Donato is the most vicious in MotoGP and requires front tyres with very high levels of structural stability.

In addition to the stability needed under heavy acceleration and braking, the sweeping sections of Casanova-Savelli and Biondetti, as well as high-speed corners such as Arrabbiata 1 and 2, require very high levels of grip from the edge of the tyre. With nine right-handed corners compared to just six left-handers, Bridgestone will provide asymmetric rear slicks with slightly harder rubber on the right shoulders compared to the left.

One of the key performance requirements of the rear slicks developed for Mugello is an ability to withstand very high temperatures for sustained periods. At this circuit, the riders tend to accelerate hard at high lean angles which generates extreme heat, so all the rear slicks Bridgestone will supply this weekend will be in the heat-resistant ‘Special Construction’ specification. This specification of rear slick ensures superior rider safety and consistent grip levels in extreme operating conditions.

Rear slick options for the CRT riders are the soft and medium compound, while the works riders will be offered the medium and hard compound rear slicks. Bridgestone’s front slick tyre compounds for the Italian Grand Prix are devised to ensure maximum braking and cornering stability, while catering to the potential for cool conditions.

Wet conditions are forecast for this weekend and Bridgestone’s main wet tyre for Mugello will be the hard wet tyre, with each rider able to select up to two front and rear tyres in the alternative, soft specification if they desire.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

“Everyone in the paddock loves coming to Mugello as the circuit is one of the jewels in the crown of MotoGP as it is fast, technically demanding and is situated in a beautiful countryside setting. The circuit is quite demanding on tyres so our development challenge is to provide tyres that ensure enough grip and stability for riders to safely navigate the twisting track, while managing the high temperatures caused by sustained high lean angles and heavy acceleration. While this is an important race on the MotoGP calendar, it is a particularly special event for Ducati as it is their home race, and after their strong showing at Le Mans I am sure the whole team is approaching this weekend full of confidence. The exciting start to the championship has helped deliver healthy crowds, so I hope that this weekend welcomes a large and vibrant crowd at Mugello cheering on its local heroes.”

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Mugello is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and is tough on tyres due to its technical layout with many high speed corners and the track temperature that often reaches above 50 degrees Celsius. This year’s race will be run earlier in the summer than the last couple of years but excessive track temperatures could still occur. Apart from the high temperatures, the track surface has a high grip level and is abrasive, and there are significant elevation changes which all combine to place significant load on the 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 shoulder grip from the rear tyre. The top speeds reached at Mugello are the highest of the season and this puts significant strain on the centre section of the rear tyres.”

 


 

Round Number: 
5
Year: 
2013

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