'I am very happy to go to Mugello. This is a beautiful track and I like it so much.'
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP returns to Italy for Valentino Rossi’s first home race of the year, the Gran Premio d’Italia this Sunday at the Mugello circuit in Tuscany. The race is also a home Grand Prix for the team itself, being based alongside the historic Monza circuit in Gerno di Lesmo.
Rossi prepares to entertain his home fans in good form having been at the sharp end of recent races and taking a well earned second on the podium at the last round in France at Le Mans. The local hero remains the only Grand Prix rider ever to take seven straight wins at his home race, scoring consecutive premier class victories at Mugello from 2002 to 2008. Prior to this he also has a 125cc win in 1997 and a 250cc win in 1999. He will be determined to forget last year’s unfortunate DNF after being taken out on the first lap.
Jorge Lorenzo arrives at one of his favourite circuits determined to continue his five-year unbroken Mugello podium run. The track that has seen him claim the last three consecutive premier class wins and two consecutive second place finishes prior to that.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith will once again fight to finish round 6 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship in strong positions at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM event.
The action will commence this Friday at the twisting 5245 metre circuit, 30 kilometres northeast of Firenze. The historic track is a popular event for spectators and riders alike featuring six left hand corners and nine right of varying degrees and speed. It is also one of the lengthiest tracks on the Grand Prix calendar featuring the longest straight of all the rounds with a distance of 1141 metres.
Rookie Pol Espargaro will look to build on his superbly executed result of 4th position at the team’s home GP of Le Mans by continuing his learning process on a MotoGP bike at Mugello. Whilst Bradley Smith, who holds the track in high regard, will look to add to his history of convincing results at the famous Tuscan track a battle inside the top five.
The Grand Prix of Italy represents also a special appointment for the team run by Giovanni Cuzari and its main sponsor, NGM, based in Santa Maria a Monte, Pisa only 90 km far from the Tuscan racetrack.
Mugello is also one of Aleix Espargaro and Colin Edwards’s favourite circuits and both NGM Forward Racing MotoGP riders hope to get a good result after the difficult weekend they had in France.
Said Rossi: "I am very happy to go to Mugello. This is a beautiful track and I like it so much. This is one of my favourite weekend’s 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. Jorge has won the last three years on the Yamaha, doing fantastic races, and this means that the M1 is very competitive on this track. It will be my three hundredth GP this weekend and for that I am not very happy because it means that I'm old but I'm happy because I am in good shape and I can still be very fast! See you at Mugello!"