Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone ahead of this weekend's Italian GP at Mugello:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Leads Championship Heading to Italian Grand Prix
After a perfect weekend at Le Mans, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo prepare to go all out at Mugello for the Italian Grand Prix.
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 27th May 2015
After a very successful weekend at Le Mans, where they scored the first Yamaha 1-2 of the season, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo head to 'Autodromo del Mugello' for Sunday‘s Gran Premio d'Italia in the flowing hills of Tuscany.
This weekend‘s race isn‘t just special for local hero Rossi, as it marks his first home Grand Prix of the season, but also for the team itself, which is based in Gerno di Lesmo.
The nine-time World Champion looks forward to putting on a show for the Italian crowd. Having secured a place on the podium at every round the MotoGP paddock has visited so far this season, he has once again established that he should never be ruled out come race day. He will aim to keep his podium streak going by adding another top result to his previous record of seven back-to-back premier class victories at Mugello from 2002 to 2008, two third places in 2009 and 2014, a 250cc win in 1999, and a 125cc win in 1997.
Lorenzo is also eager to get back aboard his YZR-M1. He impressed with his blistering pace at Jerez and Le Mans and is determined to keep the momentum going at the Italian track, where he fought a sensational battle with Marquez last year. The four-time World Champion has a six-consecutive podium run at Mugello in the premier class to his name, consisting of three wins in 2011, 2012, and 2013 and three second places in 2009, 2010, 2014. The challenging circuit also saw him take a first place in the 250cc class in 2006 and a 250cc second place in 2005.
The action at the winding 5245 metre circuit will kick off this Friday. Located 30km North-East of Florence, the GP at this historic track is a popular event, drawing thousands of enthusiastic spectators. Though Mugello is challenging, it is also a much beloved circuit amongst riders and engineers thanks to its mixture of fast and slow turns, a 1141 m longest straight and various uphill and downhill sections. Having hosted its first MotoGP event back in 1976, the track was bought by Ferrari in 1988 before becoming a permanent fixture in 1991 after extensive refurbishment. Set within beautiful countryside of Tuscany, the circuit offers great views, so the crowd can fully enjoy the action as they cheer on their favorite riders and teams.
Arriving at Mugello as the leader in the championship and being in a great shape is perfect. We are fast from the start of the season and this is important. I really like the Mugello circuit, the Italian Grand Prix is always a nice weekend, but also Jorge loves this track. Jorge and I will try to put our Yamaha‘s on top again, but this time I hope it will be in a reverse order! In Le Mans I struggled a bit, but I still managed to take second. At Mugello we must not make mistakes with the setup of the bike, starting from the free practices. We will work hard from the first day to make this a nice weekend. There will be so many people in Mugello. We will have even more fans visiting the track already on Saturday. It will be a great race!
Le Mans was a confirmation that I‘m feeling stronger and that I‘m in a great shape. Claiming a second victory in a row was very important to me and the team in order to know for certain that Jerez wasn‘t a one-time event. In Le Mans we got the pace and the rhythm to achieve another win. The YZR-M1 is a nice bike to ride and permits me to ride in the manner I like. In Le Mans we were able to do a perfect job during the whole weekend, as in Jerez, and now we look forward to racing again in Mugello. The track is maybe one of my favorites throughout the MotoGP calendar so I‘m eager to race there. In the past I got so many wins in Mugello and it‘s a suitable circuit for both me and the YZR-M1. It‘s fluid, with many uphill and downhill sectors and amazing, long high-speed corners such as Arrabbiata 1 and 2. I will try to fight again for the podium here and keep this nice momentum going!
Mugello is our first home race of the season and personally I find it one of the nicest circuits of the championship and it‘s located in a beautiful area. In the past our bike suited the track very well. Now that our riders are on top form, that makes the coming weekend even more exciting. It‘s really important to start working in the right direction from the first session, so we can prepare for the race in the best way possible, because I expect a really tough race. Let‘s make it another great race to remember in front of the Italian fans!
The Ducati Team gearing up for its home race, the TIM Italian Grand Prix at Mugello
The Ducati Team is arriving at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, the spectacular circuit in the heart of Tuscany, for the TIM Italian Grand Prix, the sixth round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship and always one of the most popular and prestigious events on the calendar.
For the two Ducati Team riders it will be a special occasion, seeing as it is the home race for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer and, as always, numerous Ducatisti are expected to pack into the Ducati Grandstand at the Correntaio corner to cheer on their heroes.
A few days before the race at Le Mans the Ducati Team men took part in two days of testing at the Tuscany track, setting some excellent times. Unfortunately at the end of day 2, Iannone crashed at the Arrabbiata 2 turn and injured his left shoulder. In France Dovizioso scored another podium, his fourth in the first five races of the season, while Iannone ran a great race to finish the GP in fifth place after an exciting battle with Marquez. In the last few days the rider from Vasto underwent an MRI scan that unfortunately highlighted a hairline fracture at the tip of his humerus bone and as a result Iannone will have to tackle the Mugello race with some uncertainty regarding his physical condition.
Mugello will also see the appearance of Michele Pirro, the Ducati Test Team’s test-rider, who is entered as a wild-card for the first time this season on a third Desmosedici GP15.
The TIM Italian GP gets underway on Friday morning with first free practice at 9.55 CET, and the 23-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd (83 points)
“I believe that we can be competitive at Mugello because we have tested at this track recently and we were quick. In addition the team is very motivated: we are at Mugello and this is Ducati’s home race, so we all have that extra incentive to do well. At the last race however we were missing a little ‘something’ and so we are going to have to continue to work hard throughout this weekend.”
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 5th (61 points)
“For sure on Sunday I will race at Mugello but it’s going to be difficult for me to be 100% fit. A couple of days ago I stopped taking pain-killers and yesterday I did an MRI scan. Unfortunately they found a hairline fracture at the tip of my funny bone, and to be sincere that was a bit of a nasty surprise. The swelling still causes me a lot of pain and I am continuing to do laser therapy in an attempt to get it to go down as soon as possible. In any case, I’ll have to grit my teeth like I did at Le Mans, because it’s far too important for me and for Ducati to have a good race in front of the Mugello fans.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51)
“I am very pleased to do my first wild-card race of the year at Mugello, and it’s also really exciting for me to race for the first time with the GP15. In five races the new Desmosedici has already scored five podiums, proving to be very competitive and so it’s a big responsibility for me, but with the Ducati Test Team we have always done a good job on the bike’s development and so I am confident we can obtain a good result.”
The Mugello circuit
Located 30km north-east of Florence in the beautiful Tuscany countryside, Mugello is a modern circuit with excellent facilities. Bought by Ferrari back in 1988, the 5.245km track has been renovated to a high standard and has a growing reputation as one of the world’s most up-to-date, scenic and safest race circuits. A blend of slow and fast turns with sweeping curves, long straights and off-camber corners make Mugello one of the most challenging circuits for the riders and engineers. Having hosted its first MotoGP event back in 1976 the venue became a permanent fixture in 1991 after extensive refurbishment. Set within a beautiful tree lined Tuscan valley, Mugello also offers ample viewing areas for a particularly boisterous and partisan Italian crowd.
Marquez and Pedrosa head to Italy poised to strike back
After a difficult weekend in France, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are en route to Mugello looking to reclaim important Championship points.
In Le Mans, Marc was engaged in a fierce battle to claim 4th place and his teammate, Dani Pedrosa, fresh back from injury crashed in the early laps but demonstrated his strength to remount his Honda RC213V and complete the race to test his physical condition.
Just 30km north east of Florence, Mugello was first opened in 1974 and at 5.245km in length, it’s one of the longest tracks on the calendar.Through its mix of nine right-hand turns and six lefts – some fast, some slow – changes in radius, camber and gradient, Mugello is one of the most popular circuits among Grand Prix riders, and its 1.141km straight is also the longest.
Marc has been victorious in Mugello in all three classes – 2014 in MotoGP, 2011 in Moto2 and 2010 in 125cc. Dani celebrates eight podium finishes in Mugello including two victories – 2010 in MotoGP, 2005 in 250cc – and will be hoping his condition has improved further since the French GP almost two weeks ago.
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 4TH - 69 POINTS
"We are very motivated after the weekend in Le Mans and arrive in Italy in good shape. We must work hard from Friday to find a good setup as Mugello is a complicated circuit, however, I like it and have good memories from my first victory in 2010. We know Valentino will be very strong at his home race, Jorge and Dani have a good history there and Ducati were testing there just a few weeks ago, so we will have to be focused all weekend."
CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 15TH - 10 POINTS
"Even though we didn’t get a great race result, the outcome from the weekend in Le Mans was positive! The arm was better than I expected and now we head to Italy - after a further two weeks of recovery - looking to make another step. Mugello is a very fast track and you must work hard from the first session to find a good setup for this circuit. The fans always make this a special race so I hope I can do a good race for my fans and my team."
ESPARGARO READY TO RACE AT MUGELLO
Team Suzuki Press Office – March 27th
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Aleix Espargaro has been given the green-light to race in this weekend’s Mugello MotoGP™ race in Italy after undergoing a positive ultrasound examination today in Barcelona to evaluate the recovery process of his injured right hand.
Further evaluations will be done day-by-day in terms of pain and riding capabilities.
The Spaniard underwent surgery to reconstruct his right thumb ligament that was broken in the crash he had in Le Mans during FP3.
The GP of Italy will be the sixth round of the 2015 MotoGP™ season, and Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is excited to debut the two Factory GSX-RRs at the fascinating circuit of Mugello. Mugello’s blend of slow and fast turns with sweeping curves, long straights and off-camber corners make it one of the most challenging circuits for the riders and engineers. Owned by Ferrari since 1988, the 5.245km track has been renovated to a high standard and has a growing reputation as one of the world’s most up-to-date, scenic and safest race circuits.
“I’m happy because doctors said the recovery process is positive and I definitely want to try to race. The crash in Le Mans was one of the worst in my career; I suffered a lot of pain and also my right thumb ligament got broken. Dr. Mir and his colleagues did a great job with the surgery, everything went well and my recovery has been good. I don’t feel 100%, but I definitely want to get back riding and join my team for the race in Italy. This race will be tough, Mugello’s straight is so long and we will probably suffer a little on top-speed, but at the same time the track in its whole is very fast and on this matter our chassis can make a real positive difference. I like fast tracks; this will help me get over this injury and make for a positive weekend.”
“My feeling is that Mugello will be a difficult track because it has such a long straight, and this could be a bad thing for our Suzuki, but at the same time there are some very fast corners where we can exploit the very good chassis that we have. Making a balance of pros and cons I think that we can make a good performance, maybe better that Le Mans. The important point for us will be to exploit the free practice and qualifying at their best. Being able to start from a better position will allow me to make my own pace and have riders that push me from behind instead of having to fight and pass them like I did in recent races. I still need to work to improve my tyre management and time my runs better during practices. I believe improvements in these areas will lead me to a better qualifying position.”
ITALIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW
The new seamless gearbox makes its debut at Mugello on the Aprilia RS-GP bikes ridden by Bautista and Melandri. Development also continues on the chassis and aerodynamics
Scarperia (Italy), 26 May 2015 - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini is back on the track to take on one of the classic rounds of the season, the Italian Grand Prix on the Mugello circuit. Precisely for the home Grand Prix, the Italian team will use the seamless gearbox in the race for the first time on both of the Aprilia RS-GP bikes ridden by Alvaro Bautista and Marco Melandri.
The new transmission, seamless in downshifting as well, was successfully tested by Bautista in the sessions held 4 May on the Jerez circuit. Positive results encouraged the Noale Racing Division to streamline introducing this solution which, in any case, will not be the only technical change that Bautista and Melandri will be able to take advantage of during the Mugello weekend.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“Mugello, with everything that comes with a home round, represents another step in this season of growth for Aprilia. It is a particularly important occasion because right here on the Tuscan track our seamless gear shift system will make its début, available for both our riders. The positive feedback Bautista provided after the tests at Jerez immediately following the Spanish Grand Prix convinced us to speed up development on this solution in order to have it ready to race as soon as possible. As important as the new transmission is, in any case it will not be the only new feature. We have prepared various changes in terms of aerodynamics and chassis as well with respect to the bike that started off the season. All of this is part of our path of improvement which we hope to successfully move forward at Mugello.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“The Italian Grand Prix represents an important round, not only because we'll be racing in front of our home fans, but also because we'll be taking a lot of technical changes to the track in various areas of the bike. The Aprilia mechanics have put in a lot of effort preparing these advancements and this is a fine demonstration of the great desire that drives the entire team and the racing division. We are expecting a weekend of hard work, but we are confident that these efforts will soon be rewarded with some nice results.”
“At Mugello we'll be taking a lot of technical changes onto the track, beginning with the seamless gearbox that I tested at Jerez with good results, so we are very motivated as we approach this round. We'll also have some other upgrades available in various areas of the bike, so I'm confident that we'll be able to take a big step forward. We expect this weekend to be more demanding than usual because we will have a lot of things to test and not much time to do it, but we are ready to work hard. If we manage to find a good setup on a difficult track like Mugello I think this will be helpful to us in the upcoming Grand Prix races as well, so I'm anxious to get onto the track to begin checking the quality of the technical advancements. Our main goal is still bike development, although I won't hide the fact that achieving a good result in Aprilia's home Grand Prix would be nice.”
“Italians get very excited about the Mugello round, so we always try to achieve that little extra. For us it will be another race in our apprenticeship, although I hope that the new seamless gearbox will provide the advantages we are expecting and consequently allow us to take a step forward. Hopefully it will be able to represent a new starting point for us to continue improving, along with changes to the chassis that may help me to achieve more of a feeling with the bike.”
Avintia Racing races at Ducati's home
25/05/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP – Grand Prix of Italy – PREVIEW
MotoGP World Championship arrives to Italia this weekend for the sixth round of the calendar at the spectacular Mugello circuit. The 3.2 miles track is located in the heart of the Tuscan valleys and its layout is one of the most technical and challenging for the riders. Hector Barbera goes to Mugello leading the Open Class standings, but the Avintia Racing rider is not happy with his race in France two weeks ago, so he is looking forward to get a good result in one of his favourites circuits this weekend. The Tuscan circuit is the test base for Ducati Corse, so Barbera and Di Meglio’s bikes will be at home.
Mike Di Meglio also wants to forget Le Mans race where he crashed during the second lap. Avintia Racing French rider aims to finish the race in Mugello and try to score his first point of the season.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 / @HectorBarbera
I’m looking forward to the Italian Grand Prix because Mugello is a track I really like and it’s also the Ducati circuit. It’s an Italian factory and our bikes have made thousands of kilometres in this track, so they will be working really well. In Le Mans the race was not as we expected and this has loaded us up. We arrive to Mugello highly motivated, I’ve been always fast there and the bike will work, so we’ll give our hundred percent.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / @Mikejpp63
Mugello it’s a really nice track and I like it a lot. Last year with the screamer engine we had was difficult to manage the bike. But this season everything is different and I think the bike will work in Mugello as this is the track where Ducati always test, so they know what is needed to go fast. I’m looking forward to see how the bike works in the first practice and try to qualify well as in Le Mans, but this time I want to finish the race and get more experience.
Tech3 duo head to Tuscany prepared for Mugello challenge
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro will commence the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM this weekend and are fully optimistic of seizing a pair of strong results as the MotoGP paddock moves to Italian soil. Round 6 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship will be contested at the legendary Italian circuit which is set deep in the Tuscan hills. The meandering 5.2 kilometre track, which features a straight of 1141 metres, always provides a high octane and entertaining race for the hugely enthusiastic local crowd who will pack out the facility for the 23 lap fight on Sunday.
Bradley Smith will aim to continue his positive form so far in 2015 at the Italian circuit, fresh from coming from a 6th place finish at the Tech3 team's home race in Le Mans. The British rider has closed in on the leading satellite bike position in the championship standings to within a point and will seek to score another top result aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 at the Mugello circuit. Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro will intend to bounce back from his recent compartment surgery with a strong finish in Tuscany. The 2013 Moto2 World Champion completed last year's race with a determined ride to 5th position and will intend to battle as close to the front as possible on Sunday.
Championship : 7th points : 46
"It's that time of the year when we visit the awesome Mugello circuit again. Riding this track is a real pleasure and the race event is one that everyone enjoys, especially as the crowd is always so passionate. The track is undulating and there is a huge straight which means some of the fastest top speeds of the year are set there. With regards to the Yamaha, the flowing nature of the circuit suits us and as long as I ride smoothly, I feel that we can clinch a good result. Last race, I was right in the hunt with Iannone and Marquez in the final section of the race, so I hope to be in a similar position this time around on Sunday afternoon. As always, we will try to hit the ground running and we will look to get everything set up as soon as possible so that we can have a strong qualifying which is vital in order to close the weekend with a positive result in the race."
Championship : 8th Points : 35
"I am excited about riding the Yamaha in the Tuscan hills this weekend! It will be a long race, especially after the surgery, but some corners such as the Casanova or the Savelli, are great fun to ride on a MotoGP bike. My operation was successful last week and I've had a few days to recover so that I can be as ready as possible for this race, which is a physically demanding one. The last GP was tricky due to my injury, but I still managed to finish the race in 7th and picked up some valuable championship points. Also this weekend I will push as hard as possible on race day but we will see how my arm feels before I make any serious predictions, yet for sure, I aim to be as high as possible. Last year I finished the race in 5th position and I've scored three podiums in the lower leagues at the track. To do the same this year would be great, so the plan is to qualify well and then finish the race in a strong placement. The atmosphere created by the crowd is always amazing and the perfect addition to our racing so I can't wait to see them at the track supporting us as enthusiastically as they always do."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
"We all look forward to the Mugello race and for sure, this weekend will be another special event like usual. The track really is one of the finest that we have the pleasure to visit and the weaving corners, plus the long straight always make spectacular viewing for the crowds. Last year was a tale of two stories as Pol qualified and finished in 5th and Bradley unfortunately fell. However, this year we have had some really good results from both riders, so we are fully confident that they can be fighting where they want to be aboard their Yamaha MotoGP bikes. Brad has done a solid job so far this year and has turned the corner from last year, with a new attitude and approach to the sport. This has reflected in his results and with five rounds completed we see him just one point back from Cal in the championship standings. Pol has been a little unlucky at times this season, but he is as determined and as hungry as ever. His surgery was a complete success so we will see how he is when we start the practice on Friday. It may be a bit too early to expect him to be fighting where he wants to be, but for sure, he has a strong record here and will be giving his all as always. The boys are doing well and we hope to clinch two more strong results this weekend in Italy."
Mugello welcomes the Athinà Forward Racing team
The charming region of Mugello will be the setting of the sixth round of the 2015 season this weekend. The Tuscan track, in fact, will host the first home race of the year for the Athinà Forward Racing team and its riders.
In MotoGP, after a good twelfth place in Le Mans and second place in the Open class, Loris Baz is looking forward to get back on his Yamaha Forward to score more championship points. His teammate Stefan Bradl is also motivated to go back on circuit. The German, after the premature withdrawal in Le Mans race, is aiming at the Top15 and to finish first of the Open bikes.
Simone Corsi and Lorenzo Baldassarri, in Moto2, are also ready for battle in their home Grand Prix. After finishing out of the points in France, they are eager to do well at the Italian circuit where they will sport a new bike livery, suit and helmet.
Stefan Bradl - 6
"After all the good work done during the test in Jerez I was prepared to do well in the race at Le Mans, but I was forced to retire, too bad. We made a good step forward in France and we are approaching Mugello believing we can close the gap with the fastest Open”.
Loris Baz - 76
"After my first home race at Le Mans it is time for me and the team to go to Mugello for the first home race of the Athinà Forward Racing. We worked well during the French weekend and I am convinced we can be competitive here. Our second place in the Open class was great and it will be an extra motivation to make another step forward on this track which features such a long straight”.
Simone Corsi - 3
"Mugello is one of the most beautiful track in the championship and, at the same time, one of the most difficult in the world. It will be a special weekend on the track in front of the Italian fans, especially this time since I will be racing with a special livery. Le Mans was a difficult weekend, I struggled a lot and the race did not finished as expected. I have many fond memories that tie me to this track and I am eager to do well”.
Lorenzo Baldassarri - 7
"This will be the first home race for me in this team. I can’t wait to get on track to move forward after the race at Le Mans. Racing in front of the Italian fans with a special livery will have a really special taste”.
Redding looking for answers in Mugello
Gosselies, Belgium – 26 May 2015: Scott Redding heads to this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, round six of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, determined to find a solution to the set up issues that have hampered his progress in all but one race this season.
In what has proved to be a difficult start to his first season aboard the factory Honda RC213V, Redding has only one top ten finish to his name, while crashes in Austin and Le Mans mean he currently lies only 13th in the championship standings, well short of both his and the team’s expectations.
It’s a situation that the 22-year-old is keen to reverse this weekend in Mugello, a track at which he dominated proceedings two years ago, winning the Moto2 race comfortably from pole position.
The Mugello track itself could prove to be a major factor in a Redding revival this weekend, as grip levels are high and, as he showed during practice and qualifying in Austin earlier in the season, when grip is available the 22-year-old Briton knows how to take full advantage of it.
The Italian Grand Prix weekend gets underway with free practice at 09.55 on Friday morning, with the 23-lap MotoGP race scheduled to start at 14.00 on Sunday afternoon.
“The only goal this weekend in Mugello is to find a solution to the problems we had in both Jerez and Le Mans. It seems that when grip is hard to find then we suffer a lot more with the front than the other Honda riders and that’s something we need to get to the bottom of. However, it may not be such an issue this weekend, as Mugello is a track where there is normally a lot of grip and that could help us. Even so, we still need to find a good front feeling and more front grip. We’ve tried a lot of things on the bike without any benefit, but we have a few more options to test this weekend. That’s one of our biggest problems at the moment; our only chance to test changes is during race weekends when track time is limited. I like the Mugello circuit, but it’s demanding of the bike and tyres and also of the rider, both mentally and physically. I suspect we’re in for another tough weekend in Italy, but preferably one that ends with a decent result on Sunday”
Chris Pike: Chief Engineer
“The last few races have been difficult for both Scott and the team. While Scott’s pace in the first free practice sessions is good, at the moment he isn’t able to improve on his lap time as the weekend progresses. We need to rebuild his confidence in the bike, so he can start riding to its strengths but, as he’s at the extreme end of the physical spectrum compared to the three other factory Honda riders, it’s proving more difficult than expected to find a setting he’s comfortable with, despite the collective efforts of the team, HRC and Öhlins. We will continue working to find a solution this weekend at Mugello, a track where grip is never normally an issue.”
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders head to Mugello in good spirits
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 10:17
Nicky Hayden and Eugene Laverty travel to Tuscany on the back of strong results in the last race
The MotoGP World Championship makes its annual pilgrimage to Tuscany this weekend with Valentino Rossi leading the standings and the rejuvenated factory Ducati team looking to make it an extra special weekend for the passionate Italian fans. Mugello is a technical circuit, one of seven on the calendar to measure more than five kilometres in length and one of five to feature a kilometre-long straight. With its fast and flowing layout the key to Mugello is a combination of set-up and skill, qualities that have certainly not been lacking Jorge Lorenzo recently. The Spaniard has won the last two races and he will look to take the challenge to the home favourites this weekend.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team travels to Tuscany on the back of its strongest weekend so far this season at Le Mans last time out. Nicky Hayden took victory in the Open class whilst Eugene Laverty picked up his first points in MotoGP, and both riders are highly motivated to build on those results at Mugello. The American is doubly determined to perform this weekend after missing this round last year with a hand injury, and after finding some set-up improvements in France two weeks ago his goal is to make further progress and stay in the chase for Open class wins. Whilst it might still be early days for his team-mate Eugene Laverty in MotoGP, there is no doubt that the Irishman is setting equally high goals in the medium term after also making good progress with his bike at Le Mans.
Nicky Hayden: “I always look forward to spending time in Italy and in my opinion this is one of the biggest rounds of the season. Mugello is incredible, in terms of the circuit layout and the atmosphere. It has one main straight and a lot of flowing corners, some faster than others but a lot in second gear. That makes it important to find a good set-up that gets you through the fast direction changes and the different kinds of corners that Mugello has. I missed racing in Italy last year because of the hand injury so I am doubly motivated and looking forward to getting started this Friday. There is always a magical atmosphere at this race but I think with Valentino leading the championship and the Ducatis in great form it will be a special weekend. My feeling with the bike finally started to come good at Le Mans so hopefully we can keep it up at Mugello. We need to be fully focused on making a strong start on Friday.”
Eugene Laverty: “Mugello is a real rider's circuit and it's impossible not to enjoy riding there. I tested a Superbike briefly at Mugello in 2012 and so I have a little experience of riding the circuit on a 1000cc machine. Le Mans was a very difficult weekend and so I'm keen to make amends in Mugello. My team-mate made a big step forward last time out having received a new swingarm and I hope to do the same once I receive the update. I scored my debut MotoGP points last time out and my aim is to continue this forward momentum and try to fight for an Open class victory soon.”
CRUTCHLOW LOOKING FOR COMEBACK IN ITALY
The CWM LCR Honda Team enjoy one of their home grands prix at the picturesque Mugello circuit in Italy this weekend, and its fast, flowing and undulating nature makes it one of those tracks which all riders look forward to racing at.
Cal Crutchlow is definitely a fan of the Tuscan layout, having scored a podium at the event back in 2013. The British rider currently lies sixth in the MotoGP World Championship as the top satellite performer, and is confident of mounting a comeback at what is one of his favourite circuits, after the disappointment in France.
Cal Crutchlow #35
“We need to regroup after the struggles we had with the temperature changes over the Le Mans weekend, but I think Mugello could be the place to do that. I’ve had some great races around the track in the past and been on the podium there before.”
“It’s going to be a difficult challenge, because the pace is so hot at the moment, but I always look forward to seeing the Italian fans and overall it’s a race that I love to be involved in. Last year didn’t go to plan because I crashed, and actually took LCR’s rider out, so hopefully it will be better for all parties this year!”
MILLER POSITIVE ABOUT MUGELLO
The CWM LCR Honda Team enjoy one of their home grands prix at the picturesque Mugello circuit in Italy this weekend, and its fast, flowing and undulating nature makes it one of those tracks which all riders look forward to racing at.
That includes the team’s Australian rookie Jack Miller, who led several laps of the Moto3 race here one year ago. With beautiful weather forecast for the weekend in Tuscany, Miller hopes to get back into the swing of things after a crash during the last race in France.
Jack Miller #43
“I think Mugello is a great track which I know is going to be so different on a MotoGP bike compared to the Moto3 machine, so I’m definitely looking forward to it. It’s going to be another hard weekend I’m sure with the long straight there, but the tracks that have been open and flowing have been pretty good for us. I look forward to getting out there and riding the Honda RC213V-RS yet again.”
“Apart from the couple of crashes in races, we are right where we want to be; fighting with Nicky Hayden, Danilo Petrucci and even Maverick Viñales. We’re making steps forward and a lot of things are changing and improving, the work we did and the consistency was good during the Le Mans weekend, so I’m positive this can continue again in Mugello.”
Danilo Petrucci protagonist in Gran Premio d'Italia press conference
Following the stunning images taken by Dorna in the pre-event of Siena during which Danilo Petrucci and Yonny Hernandez lapped in Piazza del Campo with Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso riding four Ducati Desmosedici GP, the rider of Terni was featured in the press conference of the Gran Premio d'Italia.
Sitting alongside Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, Petrux did entertain the crowd of journalists also earning thunderous applause after explaining with a smile the future of his career.
"Only ten years ago I was sitting on the couch in front of the TV watching the MotoGP. Now i'm sitting here and it is awesome. I have other ten years to get back on the sofa at home".
The inevitable appreciation of an audience much amused...
"It's great to be here with these guys who are extraordinary riders but also friends. And then the Italian GP. It the first time for me on an Italian bike and being here in the press conference with those who will fight for the podium on Sunday is very exciting. "
A week full of emotions which will end with one of the most exciting GP.
"It 's hard - Danilo jokes - because the race never arrives. We have had much to do and I can not wait to get on the bike. It's time to start our engines. I want to work hard starting tomorrow morning to qualify well and get into Q2. I want to use the emotion of this moment because maybe in Le Mans and Jerez we were unable to get the most. My goal is to improve and I'll try to do it soon tomorrow morning".
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview - Round 6: Italy, Mugello
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium (Asymmetric) & Hard (Symmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main) & Soft (Alternative)
Italy’s Mugello Circuit hosts round six of the MotoGP™ championship and the venue is a favourite for riders and fans alike due to its stunning Tuscan setting and its fast, technical layout.
Mugello combines fast and slow corners with one of the longest straights on the MotoGP calendar. This straight is preceded by the sweeping Bucine corner which hurls the riders down the hill towards turn one at speeds of around 350km/h. The approach to turn one at San Donato features a severe braking zone that demands extremely high levels of stability and control from the front tyre.
In addition to the heavy acceleration and braking zones, the flowing sections like Casanova-Savelli, Biondetti, and 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, two of the rear slick options for Mugello - the soft and medium compound - feature harder rubber on the right shoulders compared to the left.
For the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, the rear slick tyre options are the medium and hard compound rear slicks, while the other riders have the soft and medium compound rear slicks available. Bridgestone’s front slick tyre options for the Italian Grand Prix are the soft, medium and hard compounds to ensure the riders have options to deal with a wide range of temperature and track conditions. As Mugello is quite demanding on tyres, the main wet tyre this weekend is the hard compound option, while the soft compound is the alternative wet tyre option.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Everyone in the MotoGP paddock loves coming to Mugello and it also holds a special place in the heart of fans as it is one the most spectacular circuits we visit. We have seen record crowds at a few rounds already this season and with Valentino leading the championship and Ducati battling for the podium at every round, I hope to see a huge Italian crowd lining the hills surrounding Mugello this weekend. Last year we saw a thrilling battle between Marc and Jorge, the two riders crossing the finish line within a tenth of a second of each other, and with so many riders on form this year let’s hope we see another fantastic fight at the Italian Grand Prix.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“Mugello is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and is tough on tyres because of the high speed corners, elevation changes, harsh braking, and the track temperatures which often reach above 50 degrees Celsius. The Mugello tarmac is also high in grip and abrasive which further increases the technical challenge for us. Although hot weather is often experienced at this event, the circuit is located in mountainous terrain and so our tyre allocation must also be able to deal with low temperatures, particularly in the morning sessions. The heavy braking demands a strong and stable front tyre, whilst the high-speed corners require good stability and edge grip from the rear tyre. Top speeds here are among the highest reached during the season and this puts significant strain on the centre section of the rear tyres.”
Yamaha Continues Green Initiatives in Mugello
Yamaha Motor Racing aims to keep the hills at Mugello beautifully shiny and sustainable at the Italian Grand Prix with the continuation of the “KISS Mugello” (Keep it Shiny & Sustainable) project.
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 26th May 2015
After receiving the 2014 FIM Environment Award at the FIM Gala Ceremony last year, Yamaha Motor Racing resumes its position as environmental role model in the MotoGP paddock. Together with FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) and L‘Autodromo del Mugello, Yamaha Motor Racing and its concrete five partners RCM, Toyota Material Handling, PSP Global Service, Dyson and eFM encourage the public to get involved in their environmentally and socially sustainable initiatives to keep the hills of Mugello beautiful for many years to come.
After a big success last year, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo continue to play a big role in promoting the “KISS Mugello” (KISS = Keep It Shiny and Sustainable) project and also their fan clubs got involved.
As FIM Environmental Ambassadors, nine-time World Champion Rossi represents the organisation‘s sustainability policy. He promoted the “KISS Mugello” project alongside teammate Lorenzo, as they help create awareness of environmental sustainability and social sustainability.
As a part of the KISS Mugello project, there will be nearly 20.000 ’kits‘ distributed by ’Cooperativa Sociale l‘Orologio di Scarperia‘ to manage the waste in the hills of the Mugello Circuit. The kit includes three sacks for waste and a card that includes info about KISS Mugello and a fun contest. Within the circuit there will be ten distribution points of the kits where any questions about KISS Mugello can be asked.
Last year the same amount of kits had been distributed and resulted in 20,9 tons of waste recovered.
But it‘s not just the fans that keep Mugello green, the paddock will also play its part. Recycling at the Italian track has never been easier; fifteen ’ecological islands‘ have been put in place for the collection of the waste, including 150 liters bins for plastic and 200 liters bins for paper. Furthermore, Yamaha Motor Racing‘s partner Dyson and Mugello Circuit set up “Airblade” hand-dryers in all restrooms within the paddock to not only save paper but also 52.200g of CO2 (calculations based on 2 paper towels per dry and 20.000 visitors in the MotoGP paddock at Mugello over the race weekend. Click here for more information).
This year Yamaha, Mugello Circuit and VR46 have developed a social initiative to raise funds to create a game room in the Ospedale Meyer in Florence for young children admitted to the hospital.
To support this social sustainable action, fans can buy one of the 700 t-shirts that carries the text “Yellow + Blue = Green”, which symbolizes how the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders and team have gone through a sustainable journey to be more in harmony with nature.
The shirts will be sold in the VR46 sales points in and around the circuit. The money for the shirts will go to the Meyer hospital and allows the buyer to take part in the KISS Mugello contest.
To join the Kiss Mugello Contest fans are asked to take a ’sustainable selfie‘ of them wearing the ’Yellow + Blue = Green‘ T-shirt with their friends and post it on the KISS Mugello Facebook page (www.facebook.com/kissmugello) with the hashtag ’#KissMugello‘. The ten most original shots will be awarded with an exclusive kit, signed by Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.”
Racing fans who want to get involved can visit the KISS Mugello website (www.kissmugello.com), especially created by Mugello Circuit and Yamaha Motor Racing. The site is full of relevant information about the green initiative, including stats and figures, a map and an overview of the waste differentiation system.
Mugello is a very special track for me. I‘ve had some spectacular victories here, many great battles and a lot of good memories. It‘s a beautiful circuit and I would like it to stay that way. That‘s why I take part in the Kiss Mugello Project, to make people aware that we only can keep the track shiny if we all work together. But it‘s not just the environment that deserves our attention; social sustainability is also an important part of the Kiss Mugello Project. This year Mugello Circuit and Yamaha have organised to raise funds for Ospedale Meyer in Florence so the hospital can set up a game room for the children in the hospital. The new generation needs to be able to enjoy the world too and just by buying a shirt and taking a photo, fans can help. The 'Yellow + Blue = Green‘ T-shirt reflects how we have developed and improved our ways to be more green. It‘s easy for people to support this cause and together we can have a lot of fun at the Italian Grand Prix.
The KISS program encourages people to take responsibility for their footprint. It‘s a good cause, but keeping the track clean during and after a Grand Prix weekend should be common courtesy. We are all a part of this world and we should all take of it together. The people in paddock all take extra care with the ways we differentiate and get rid off our waste. These are just small changes to our normal routine, but they can make a big difference. The nice thing about the Kiss Mugello Project is that anybody can participate and together we can make a difference. Race fans can easily help keep Mugello beautiful, that‘s probably why Kiss Mugello has been so successful these last years and why it was copied at COTA and Montmelò. Let‘s make it even more success again this year!
YAMAHA MOTOR RACING, GENERAL MANAGER
‘Kaizen‘ is a Japanese word that means continuous improvement, one of the fundamental aspects in racing that is also driving the third year of KISS Mugello, the first sustainability project in MotoGP. From an environmental perspective in 2015 KISS will continue to involve the public in collecting and differentiating waste and other actions will be developed in the paddock in the aim to improve processes reaching tangible results. Sustainability is also developing initiatives of social importance and I am proud to announce the project, promoted by Yamaha and Mugello Circuit, called ’Yellow + Blue = Green‘. This project consists of selling special T-shirts during the Grand Prix of Italy and the profit will be donated to Fondazione Meyer of Florence so that it can put a playroom in place for the children. The third sphere of sustainability is economic. With support from our concrete five partners RCM, Toyota Material Handling, PSP Global Service, Dyson and EFM, Yamaha Motor Racing and Mugello circuit will cover most of the expenses for the project activities in 2015. A special thanks to the Mugello circuit and the Cooperative ’L‘Orologio‘ from Scarperia, that support KISS Mugello 2015.
FÉDÉRATION INTERNATIONALE DE MOTOCYCLISME (FIM), PRESIDENT
Since the FIM began its Ride Green programme more than 20 years ago, it has worked tirelessly and continuously on creating a synergy that promotes and delivers sustainability within motorcycle sport. Motorcycle sport like many others, shares the highest ideals of the human being: the pursuit of excellence, the expression of power and personal progress being amongst the key qualities. The values that are developed in our athletes are reflected in the goals and aims of our events in order to create safer events, incredible entertainment, excellence in sport and a real commitment to sustainability. KISS is the symbol of our sport‘s focus in this direction, with a clear synergy between all the parties involved and in this way we can realise a very important component: the social aspect of our sustainability programme. Since its first edition in 2013, KISS Mugello has inspired other major sports venues to join the programme. We have no doubt that this will be a great success with the fans and the Ride Green ambassadors who can be found amongst the main protagonists.
MUGELLO CIRCUIT, CEO
Mugello Circuit is proud to be the first circuit to have launched the KISS project and that other circuits in the world have followed our example. The first two year feedback of KISS Mugello is encouraging and spurred us, together with our partners, to give momentum to it. In 2015, this new project promoting sustainability will not only be focused on recycling waste discarded by the public, but also on involving teams, hospitalities and the whole paddock to fulfill our target of making the Italian Grand Prix the very first environmentally friendly event in the world. While being committed to the fulfilment of KISS MUGELLO 2015, we‘ll support Fondazione Meyer of Florence, a Children‘s Hospital that established itself as synonymous with excellence. I‘m sure our partners will devote themselves to this end and that our fans will be full tuned with our goal and will surprise us.
Mugello: land of success
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 14:34
This weekend is the eagerly-anticipated Italian Grand Prix, one of the most iconic dates on the MotoGP World Championship. Mugello is one of the most famous circuits in the world, partly for the beauty of its location, partly for the fast and challenging nature of its layout and partly for the incredible atmosphere that the passionate home supporters always create there. The Tuscan venue has been the scene of great success for the Aspar Team over the years, with the Spanish outfit claiming no fewer than twenty of the 340 podiums celebrated at Mugello. As usual the pioneer for the team was its owner Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’, who picked up the penultimate podium of his racing career at this track, whilst the Aspar Team's Sporting Director Gino Borsoi, an Italian who has done more laps than most around this circuit, knows its intricacies like few others...
Mugello has been very kind to the Aspar Team over the years…
Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’: “It is a track where I raced many times over the course of my career. I started racng there back in 1984, finishing second in the 80cc race after starting from last place. I went to Mugello from 1984 until 1997, when I raced there for the last time. I set pole position and finished second to some guy called Valentino Rossi [laughs]. Then after I retired I spent some time testing Aprilia's 500cc twin. I have good memories from all of my visits to Mugello, apart from one; in 1995 I crashed in one of the Arrabbiatas and broke my scaphoid. Then as a team manager Mugello has also provided me with great joy and some unforgettable moments.”
Gino Borsoi: “Back in the day we won a lot of podiums with the Aprilia, a bike that was born in Italy and had done a lot of laps around Mugello. You also have to take into account the fact that a lot of quality riders have come through the Aspar Team. It was also useful that I was the Aprilia test rider for a few years and a lot of the testing was done at Mugello. So as soon as the team arrived at Mugello we were already starting from a solid base. So when you combine a bike that was born and built in Italy, top level riders and the additional information I was able to bring, and then add in the impeccable work of our engineers, you have the secret to the Aspar Team's success over the years at Mugello.”
Why do you hear people making the comment that Mugello is a rider's circuit?
Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’: “Well, it has a really long straight where the bikes set their fastest top speeds of the season. In MotoGP you go from 350km/h to braking to around 90km/h. After that it is a track where you really need to manage your corner speed and acceleration. You have to sacrifice your speed on the way into a lot of turns so that you can accelerate on the exit. The last turn onto the front straight is really tricky because it is off-camber and bumpy. You could say that a fast lap is 80% down to the precision of the rider and 20% down to the power of the engine.”
Gino Borsoi: “Principally because it is such a complete track. It has a 'slow' part, which would be turn one. But then it builds into a series of esses with some really fast corners, some of them blind, so you really need to know the track. Self-confidence is crucial to a fast lap at Mugello and every corner is crucial. It is a technical track that requires bravery and a large pair of 'cojones' if you want to be fast there.”
Where are the secrets to Mugello?
Jorge Martínez ‘Aspar’: “Mugello is a really technical and difficult track with a lot of corners that link together. Casanova, Arrabbiata 1 and 2… they are all blind corners where you have to be able to get on the gas before you can see the exit. No corner is the same as the last, and that goes for the four esses. That makes it very difficult to follow a pattern. It is a circuit that is as difficult as it is beautiful.”
Gino Borsoi: “There are so many, almost one in every corner. The two Arrabbiata corners are the most difficult in terms of bike set-up and the conviction of the rider. A rider with self-belief and the right line through that corner can easily make up half a second. In general though, even though the Arrabbiatas stand out, there are crumbs to pick up all around the track. The esses after Arrabbiata 2, the last corner into the straight... Mugello has so many key points and even though it is so wide there is still only really one good line.”
Eugene's Monaco Grand Prix Weekend
Eugene pops round to fellow MotoGP rider Karel Abraham apartment to watch the F1 which has taken over the streets of Monaco.
Despite not having to race this week it's been a very busy "weekend off" for Eugene Laverty. There's plenty of excitement around Monaco ahead of the Formula 1 Grand Prix and as a result there was plenty of sponsor appointments and functions for Eugene to attend.
One of the most important was a charity cycle held on Wednesday in honour of Sean Edwards, a sportscar driver who died 18 months ago in a crash in Australia. The cycle was organised to raise funds for then Sean Edwards Foundation which looks to raise awareness of on track safety and educate drivers about the dangers of the sport.
Having been involved in a charity cycle from France to Monaco last month this route saw Eugene ride towards Italy. With perfect weather conditions the Mediterranean coastline offered plenty of beautiful views. Although as ever it was hard to beat the view of a nice cup of coffee once the cycle was finished!
Thursday saw Eugene spend the day on a yacht in the Monaco harbour watching the Formula 1 practice sessions with his Fiancée Pippa. It was the first time that he has been up close and personal with an F1 car and he came away impressed by the speed but joked that drivers weren't even getting their knee down through the chicane!
The experience was a new one for Eugene because despite living in Monaco for almost three years this was the first time that his racing schedule didn't clash with the Formula 1. With World Superbikes at Donington Park however he's been keen to keep up to tabs with the two wheeled racing this weekend!
Eugene Laverty "Formula 1 took over town this week and it was great to be able to watch the guys in action just a short walk from my home. I enjoyed watching trackside and the great thing about the Monaco GP is that you can get really close to the action. I was supporting both Daniel Ricciardo and Jenson Button so it was great to see those two have their best races of the year to date. Monaco is a very unique track and I've no idea how those guys can find anywhere to overtake around there! In bike racing more or less every corner is an overtaking opportunity but that's just not the case in car racing. F1 is a great spectacle but MotoGP has always been where my heart lies."
TIM Grand Prix of Italy
ROUND SIX 2015 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY 31ST MAY
CRUTCHLOW AND SMITH SEPERATED BY SINGLE POINT
The battle of the Brits is hotting up with the MotoGP™ stars arriving at the magnificent Mugello circuit for the TIM Grand Prix of Italy on Sunday. After five hectic rounds, Isle of Man – based midlander Cal Crutchlow is the leading British rider by a single point from Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith and it promises to be close in the 23 lap race on Sunday.
Crutchlow crashed from the CWM LCR Honda in the last round at Le Mans while Smith finished a battling sixth on the Monster Tech3 Yamaha. Two years ago Crutchlow finished a superb third at the 3.259 miles Mugello track riding for Smith’s current team, while Smith won the 2009 125 cc race and finished third in the Moto2™ race two years later
Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding also crashed in Le Mans but the Estrella Galicia Marc VDS rider returns to the track where he won the Moto2 race two years ago. Eugene Laverty looks to continue his current form after picking up his first ever MotoGP points, finishing 14th in Le Mans riding the Open Class Aspar Honda.
Last year Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes finished eighth on his Mugello debut riding the Italian Speed Up Moto2 machine. He returns in great form having already secured one win and a pole position. This sees him fourth in the Championship, just three points behind third placed Jonas Folger.
Twenty-one year old Wiltshire rider Danny Kent is dominating the Moto3™ Championship on the Leopard Racing Honda. Despite having to start in 31st place on the grid in Le Mans because of wet qualifying, he finished fourth in the race. This came after three successive grand prix wins that has built a mighty impressive 37 point lead after five rounds. Twenty year old Scotsman John McPhee is having a tough time at the moment and a good points scoring ride is just what he needs on the Racing Steps Foundation RTR Honda.
MUGELLO MADNESS WITH ROSSI AND DUCATI
Without a doubt the craziest place to be this weekend will at Mugello when it hosts the TIM Grand Prix of Italy. MotoGP™ Championship leader Valentino Rossi plus the re-vitalised Ducati team return to this magnificent 3.259 miles circuit high in the Tuscan hills above the magnificent City of Florence to do battle in front of the hillsides packed with passionate patriotic fans.
Thirty-six year old Rossi arrives not only leading the world championship but also with an incredible record at Mugello. The Movistar Yamaha rider has won nine times, including seven successive MotoGP wins which ended in 2008. Rossi holds a 15 point lead in the Championship after five rounds from his team-mate and man in form Jorge Lorenzo, who had his second successive victory at the previous round in France.
Just over two weeks ago Ducati had a private two days test at Mugello and return with vital set-up information after a fantastic start to the season with the new GP 15 machine. Four podium finishes in those first five races puts Andrea Dovizioso in third place just four points behind Lorenzo with his team-mate Andrea Iannone fifth just eight points behind world champion and last year’s winner Marc Marquez in fourth place. The pair fought a ferocious battle in Le Mans for fourth and Iannone should be fitter this time after dislocating his shoulder in a testing crash before Le Mans. Dani Pedrosa, Marquez’s Repsol Honda team-mate, successfully completed the Le Mans race despite an early crash to complete only his second grand prix of the season following an arm pump operation.
The British pair of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith are separated by a single point in their fight for sixth while the Espargaro brothers arrive after separate operations following Le Mans. Younger brother Pol, who is team-mate to Bradley Smith at Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, went under the knife to alleviate arm pump problems. Aleix who crashed heavily from the Ecstar Suzuki in Le Mans practice had an operation to mend a badly damaged hand.
Fresh from his third place at his home grand prix Frenchman Johann Zarco has opened up an impressive 21 point lead in the Moto2™ World Championship. He was seventh at Mugello last year, in the race won by world champion Tito Rabat who has a lot of catching up to do. Despite podiums at the last two races he trails Zarco by 36 points with former 125 cc World Champion Tom Luthi moving into second place after an impressive Le Mans win. German Jonas Folger has won twice this year but slipped to third after crashing in France. Twenty-one year old Italian Franco Morbidelli could be the dark horse in the 21 lap race, with top six finishes in every race this year.
Twenty-one year old British star Danny Kent continues to dominate the Moto3™ Championship. The Leopard Racing Honda rider chases his fourth win of the season to increase that 37 point lead but the Italian youngsters fuelled by the crowd will be at him from the start. Heading the charge will be Roman Fenati riding the Sky VR46 KTM. He won the race last year and won the previous round in France although he’s still a massive 53 points behind Kent in fifth place. Enea Bastianini chases that first win but moved into second place in the Championship after finishing second at Le Mans on the Gresini Honda, with another Italian Francesco Bagnaia third on the Mapfre Mahindra.
THE MUGELLO MISSIVE
This is the 30th occasion that a GP has been held at the Mugello circuit, including twenty five times in the consecutive years starting with 1991. Below are some facts and stats about grand prix racing at Mugello:
The first time that Mugello hosted a grand prix event was in 1976. The 500cc race was won by Barry Sheene by the narrow margin of 0.1 sec from Phil Read, in a race lasting over 62 minutes. This was at a time when Suzuki riders dominated the premier-class; the first non-Suzuki rider home was Waerum Borge Nielsen in tenth place riding a Yamaha.
The layout of the Mugello circuit has remained basically the same since 1976 with the official track length of 5.245km remaining unchanged.
Yamaha have been the most successful manufacturer in the four-stroke MotoGP era at Mugello with a total of eight wins; five successive victories with Valentino Rossi in the years 2004 through to 2008, in addition to the wins with Lorenzo in 2011, 2012 & 2013.
The win by Marc Marquez last year was the fourth for Honda in the MotoGP class at Mugello, and the first since 2010.
Ducati’s single win at Mugello was with Stoner in 2009, which is the last time that a Ducati rider has finished on the podium at the circuit.
The best results for Suzuki in the MotoGP era is 5th, which wasachieved by John Hopkins in 2007 and Loris Capirossi in 2009.
Honda riders have taken pole at Mugello for the last five years. The last non-Honda pole was Jorge Lorenzo in 2009 on a Yamaha.
Ducati riders have twice started from pole at Mugello; Sete Gibernau in 2006 and Casey Stoner in 2007.
Valentino Rossi is the most successful rider across all the classes at Mugello, with a total of nine victories; one each in 125cc and 250cc classes to add to his seven successive MotoGP wins, the last of which came in 2008.
In the MotoGP era the only Italian to start from pole in the premier-class is Valentino Rossi, who has done so on four occasions; 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008. Rossi also started from pole for the final 500cc GP race to be held at Mugello in 2001.
Loris Capirossi is the only Italian rider other than Rossi to win in the premier-class at Mugello, the 500cc race in 2000 after a race long battle with his countrymen Biaggi and Rossi, both of whom crashed in the closing stages.
The MotoGP race at Mugello in 2004 is the shortest ever premier-class grand prix race. The race lasted just six laps, after the first attempt to run the race was stopped due to rain and then restarted for the remaining laps under the rain rules as they stood at that time.
Italy, The Netherlands and Great Britain are the only three countries that have hosted a motorcycle grand prix event in each year since the motorcycling world championship series started in 1949.
KiSS Mugello wears three colours this season!
Mugello is the birthplace of KiSS (Keep it Shiny and Sustainable) programme, where the beautiful hills and the Tuscan Sun inspired a group of visionary people coming from the motorcycle world to act and organise this environmental friendly event at Mugello.
KiSS Mugello is a joint project managed by Yamaha Motor Racing, Mugello Circuit, FIM with unconditional support from DORNA, therefore involving the most important stakeholders in the world of the competition in this leading category.
KiSS has become one of the FIM flagship sustainability programmes. There are already nine editions of the KiSS programme that have been developed in different circuits, countries and continents, with other motorcycle disciplines that have been inspired with the idea of a programme that will ultimately contribute to the sustainability of motorcycle sport.
This year Yamaha Motor Racing and the Mugello Circuit have announced a series of activities that come to complement the previous editions, incorporating the social sphere in the programme. (For more information click here).
Valentino Rossi, FIM Environmental Ambassador, and his teammate Jorge Lorenzo are supporting 100% the programme of activities which includes the distribution of 20,000 eco/kits to allow the fans to be fully involved in this environmental festival and which will help to separate the waste that is produced (20.9 ton collected in 2014). Additionally new recycling/islands will be placed in the paddock plus ultra efficient hand dryers will be used which are intended to reduce the environmental impact. The social part of this event will be driven by Valentino Rossi who will offer 700 t-shirts carrying the slogan Yellow + Blue = Green with the aim to raise funds for a children's hospital in Florence. Aside from all these activities the circuit and the equipment must comply with all FIM regulations described in the code of FIM environment (here).
FIM President Vito Ippolito commented: “Since the FIM began its Ride Green programme more than 20 years ago, it has worked tirelessly and continuously on creating a synergy that promotes and delivers sustainability within motorcycle sport. Motorcycle sport like many others, shares the highest ideals of the human being: the pursuit of excellence, the expression of power and personal progress being amongst the key qualities. The values that are developed in our athletes are reflected in the goals and aims of our events in order to create safer events, incredible entertainment, excellence in sport and a real commitment to sustainability. KiSS is the symbol of our sport’s focus in this direction, with a clear synergy between all the parties involved and in this way we can realise a very important component: the social aspect of our sustainability programme. Since its first edition in 2013, KiSS Mugello has inspired other major sports venues to join the programme. We have no doubt that this will be a great success with the fans and the Ride Green ambassadors who can be found amongst the main protagonists.”
More information www.kissmugello.com
Follow KiSS Mugello on Facebook www.facebook.com/kissmugello
Pramac Racing is pleased to announce its new partnership with title sponsor Octo Telematics
Pramac Racing is pleased to announce its new partnership with Octo Telematics, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of insurance telematics technology. This means that, starting at this weekend’s Moto Grand Prix at Mugello, the team will be known as ‘Octo Pramac Racing Team’.
The new livery has been unveiled today during the MotoGp pre-event in Siena.
This sponsorship deal underlines Octo’s strategic commitment to developing telematics solutions for motorcyclists. This strategy started with the European launch of "Octo Rider 1", the first device designed to allow motorcyclists to benefit from personalised services for bike insurance policies based on the “pay as you drive” concept.
The technology partnership signed with Pramac Racing Team (a Ducati factory-supported team) will enable Octo to test and experiment new applications in order to transform this experience into innovative services accessible to everyday riders of scooters and motorcycles.
"We are highly optimistic about our partnership with Pramac because our companies share common values, ranging from the technological leadership in their respective sectors, to the ability to bring Italian quality to the world, working with passion and expertise to ensure satisfaction to customers" - said Fabio Bianchi, CEO of Octo Telematics. "Octo Pramac Racing Team" offers an ideal platform to enhance the technological know-how of Octo, allowing it to get closer to end-customers by offering innovative products and services. Every day, our technology allows us to collect and analyse thousands of pieces of data per second and when I think of our Data Center, I think this information travels on our secure networks with the same reliability and speed of motorcycles racing on the track. "
"It’s very satisfying to be able to link the name of Pramac and our team
to that of a dynamic innovative company like Octo Telematics. From the beginning we identified great similarities in both the production and sales philosophy of Octo
that align well with the high performance world of MotoGP "- said Paolo Campinoti, CEO of Pramac Racing Team. "We are delighted to celebrate this partnership a few days before the Italian Grand Prix in Mugello, the “home race” for Pramac and its fans, with hope for a great result that could represent the first in a long series of successes to share with Octo ".
“Octo Rider 1” is a reduced size low consumption telematics unit adapted to be installed on motorbikes, characterized by a compact form factor equipped with rechargeable back up battery. The product consists of a microprocessor, a high precision 3-axis internal accelerometer, a GSM module with internal antenna and an internal GPS/GLONASS receiver.
It is a professional installed device and once the end user has subscribed to the policy, the Octo customer centre will organize the installation with the professional installer network closest to the customer.
Data acquired through “Octo Rider 1” is analysed and processed in OCTO’s data center enabling motorcyclist a wide range of high quality dedicated services. "Octo Rider 1" is the starting point for high-tech services that Octo will introduce through time in the motorbike market.