Mugello, Italy

2017 Mugello MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Moto3's Towing Madness, And Rossi's Miraculous Recovery

Imagine you find yourself at the start of a 40 minute session of track time, at one of the greatest racing circuits in the world, sat astride one of the most sophisticated racing motorcycles in the world, with the Tuscan sun beating down from clear skies, and the hillsides echoing to the roar of tens of thousands of delirious fans. What would you do?

If you're a Moto3 rider competing at the Italian Grand Prix, then the answer is simple: you sit in your pit box for five minutes, then pootle out into pit lane, spending all your time looking backwards. You are finally persuaded to head out of pit lane over the crest and down towards one of the most challenging corners of the season, so you potter around at a miserable 30 km/h, constantly looking behind you in the hope of finding a faster rider coming up behind you at speed. You repeat this for the full session, interspersed with the odd hot lap.

The situation got so bad that in one of the hospitality units after the day was over, one person came over to us and asked if the Moto3 qualifying session had been red-flagged. They had been working through the session, and had noticed that the track had gone completely quiet. But it was not red flags which stopped the action, it was the desperate search for exactly the right tow. The trouble is, when all 31 Moto3 riders are waiting for a tow, there is no one left to be giving them.

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2017 Mugello MotoGP FP4 Result: Zarco Leads Rossi

While the fans were heating up like a piece of toast, from both the temperatures and seeing Valentino Rossi on top, the riders were trying on some interesting tyre combinations – from Zarco on his beloved soft front to Marquez, unusually, on the medium and Pedrosa, Rossi and Vinales on the hard.

With all the focus on race pace, it was Rossi who stayed on top up until the very last minute when Zarco blasted past to grab the limelight. Just as the Frenchman took over his lead, Rossi crashed out harmlessly in turn twelve.

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