Marquez aims for six from six while others seek to restore honour at iconic Mugello circuit
While current MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez comes into this weekend’s Gran Premio d’Italia TIM at Mugello with five wins out of the first five races of 2014, the Spaniard will look to secure another victory for the Repsol Honda Team while others will push to the limit and beyond with so much honour at stake in winning a GP at the famous Italian circuit located in Tuscany. Despite his sheer dominance this year, Marquez failed to finish in this race last year after crashing out.
While Marquez seems untouchable at the moment, the one rider who has pushed the Spaniard has been seven times MotoGP Champion Valentino Rossi who will mark his 300th Grand Prix start this weekend at a track where he was won a total of nine races at the circuit with seven of those consecutive victories in the MotoGP class between 2002 and 2008. Despite crashing out of the race on the first lap last year following an incident with GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, Movistar Yamaha’s Rossi spoke of the honour at stake when it comes to racing at the famous circuit.
“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,” Marquez said.
What about Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa who himself has two wins here (2010 MotoGP and 2005 250cc) and a total of eight podium finishes. The Spaniard will be pushing for the victory this weekend with the second placed rider in the championship now 42 points behind Marquez. “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,” Pedrosa said.