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May 30, 2013

MotoGP Riders Talk About The Possibility Of Rain At Mugello

FIM MotoGP World Championship: (From left): Bernhard Gobmeier, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone at Mugello.
The Gran Premio d’Italia TIM in Mugello officially got underway today at the Thursday pre-race press conference, where Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa was joined by Yamaha Factory Racing duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone, as well as Ducati Corse General Manager Bernhard Gobmeier.

Pedrosa is the form man at present, having won the previous two races in dominant fashion, and hopes to continue that winning streak in Italy: “The last races went very well, and Mugello is a track I like to ride. I hope the bike is working well and I want to have a good weekend.” And with wet weather already forecast and Pedrosa having proven a newfound prowess in the wet, he said: “I did improve riding in the wet these last years. I have better feeling and am more confident, but still need to be focussed.”

Lorenzo on the other hand is in a different position, as he and his team look to make amends for the result in Le Mans: “It was a big disappointment in Le Mans. But this happens in a race, and it has been a long time since it happened to us. We have to accept it and look to the future with optimism. We didn’t expect to start the way we did in Qatar, but we also didn’t expect Le Mans. But I’m very optimistic and looking forward to racing here.” Speaking about the reasons why he had issues in Le Mans last time out he reiterated his lack of feel with the rear tyre, but said: “The tyre gave a different feeling, but the ‘scientific’ reasons are difficult to explain.”

Cal Crutchlow will be an outside favourite for the podium if his present form is anything to go by, with the Brit coming fresh off his first podium of the year: “I was pleased for myself and the team - we did a good job in Le Mans. It looks like it will be rain here again, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be fast. You don’t want it wet! But there’s nothing to say if it’s dry here I can’t finish second.” He also spoke about his right shin, which still has a break at the top, saying that it doesn’t hurt unless he touches it or runs on it, yet joked that his team manager Hervé Poncharal’s dog “helped” the healing process by jumping on it.

For Valentino Rossi this is arguably his biggest occasion in years, as he looks to impress his home crowd once more aboard the M1: “The first race in Qatar was great, but since then we’ve been struggling too much; we expected to be stronger. This weekend is something special – the crowd, the track! I have extra motivation to be up at the front. But we have to work more, as we need to increase my speed and my potential. Now in MotoGP you need to be 100% in all practices, and more than 100% in the race.” When prompted about whether he thinks that the current crop of riders is at another level he said: “For me it is not right to talk about the ‘next level’ – they are the ‘new model’. The way to ride the bike has changed a lot, and now you need to do different things, [adding with a wry smile] which is difficult for an ‘old rider’ like me.”

MotoGP™ rookie Iannone has endured a tough season so far, with the Italian not only getting to grips with the Desmosedici, but also suffering numerous injuries. He commented: “The first four races were difficult for me, first with the problem with my arms and then with my knee. But Dr. Costa has helped me a lot. Coming to MotoGP is a very big difference because of the big power, and the brakes are very different. At the start it was very difficult, but it is getting a bit easier now.”

German Gobmeier, who has been given the challenging task of turning Ducati’s fortunes around, gave an insight into the progression so far and the expectations he has ahead of the race at the team’s home track: “I am confident that we have improved. For sure we have pressure [at the home race], but on the other hand it’s motivation – motivation to excel here. I think it was clear to everybody it will be a hard task, and of course we have to catch up. But other teams are making progress as well. We are content, and are doing it step-by-step, but we can’t promise anything – except that that we are giving 100%.”

And speaking about rumours of a brand new bike being tested in Catalunya in just over two weeks time, he added: “No, I don’t know where these rumours come from. On the ‘lab bike’ we change things to try them out, and then we wait until we know a step has been made before bring it into a race.”

Ahead of the press conference, a selection of riders from all MotoGP™ classes spent some time away from the track taking in some local culture, with NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti, Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci, GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Niccolo Antonelli, as well as Ambrogio Racing pair Danny Webb and Brad Binder heading to nearby Borgo San Lorenzo to learn how to manufacture some local produce. Made famous in part by its ceramic tiles, the local ceramic museum and workshop welcomed the riders to show them how the masters practice their craft, and how to make some themselves. Although it’s unlikely they will chose to swap the asphalt for a tiled track this weekend!




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

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.

Stefan Bradl:

“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.”




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

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.”




More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:

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.”