MotoGP riders set to battle under Tuscan sun at Mugello

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.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

“I am very happy to go to Mugello. This is a beautiful track and I like it so much. This is one of my favorite weekends of the season! For this reason I will try to give my best. There are always 25 points as the other races, but Mugello is a matter of honour,” said the Doctor. Marquez is also under no illusion to who he thinks will pose the most serious threat at this Sunday’s race and earlier in the week quipped when Rossi said at a press conference he wished he was 22 again Marquez said, “At Mugello Rossi will be 22.”

“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.

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Jorge Lorenzo is trying to put a disastrous start of the season behind him and Mugello could be the race that gets his championship back on track with the Movistar Yamaha rider’s total of three consecutive wins and two consecutive second places at the Italian circuit surely to motivate the two times MotoGP champion. “Now we are going to visit some special tracks for me and I think we can change some things to stay in front,” said Lorenzo who added, “We need to try to fight for our first victory of the season. That would be great for all of us, the team and I. Mugello is a suitable scenario for me where I’ve made some good memories in the past few years. It’s a special track and the layout is fantastic for my style of riding. Hopefully we can find our way in Tuscany!”

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing , Repsol Honda Team
Article type Preview
Tags featured, honda, lorenzo, marquez, mugello, pedrosa, rossi, yamaha