MotoGP circus heads to Italy with Repsol Honda Team in the driving seat
After continuing their perfect start to 2014 in Le Mans last week, the Repsol Honda Team and factory riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are en route to Tuscany, Italy.
Marc, who has won every race so far this season – and all from pole – has been victorious on two occasions in Mugello (2011 in Moto2 and 2010 in 125cc) and suffered one of only two DNF’s of 2013 here when he crashed out from second place with just three laps remaining (the other being a black flag in Phillip Island). Dani, who celebrates eight podium finishes in Mugello including two victories (2010 in MotoGP, 2005 in 250cc) will be looking to enjoy a better weekend after only managing fifth place in Le Mans and is now 42 points behind Marc in the Championship.
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.
Championship Standing: 1st - 125 points
“Le Mans was a great weekend for us and although it may look easy from the outside, it is a result of a lot hard work with the team over the weekend to set the bike up. Mugello is a tricky circuit - one of the hardest on the calendar - and we struggled a lot last year. I had many crashes over the weekend and then crashed out of the race also. Now I have an extra year’s experience and I hope it will go more smoothly for us! I know that Valentino will be very strong at his ‘home’ race, Jorge has won there for the past three years and Dani is also very fast there, so we will need to stay focused and if we cannot challenge for the win then we must take important points for the Championship”
Championship Standing: 2nd - 83 points
"Mugello is a very fast track with many long corners so finding the optimum set up and grip is essential. The atmosphere is also very special in Mugello and the weather usually perfect so I look forward to going there and racing in front of a full crowd! In the past few races my overall pace has been good but I’m hoping to improve in qualifying”