Yamaha Factory Racing set up for their ‘home’ race in Italy this weekend for the Gran Premio d'Italia at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello near Florence. Nestled deep in the Tuscan hills, the Mugello circuit is just over 300km from the team’s base in Gerno di Lesmo, near Milan.
The track is a favourite for both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, with each scoring multiple victories across classes. Lorenzo claimed one 250cc win, two second place premier class finishes in 2009 and 2010 and the last two consecutive premier class victories in 2011 and 2012.
Rossi’s Mugello record includes one 125cc win in 1997, a 250cc win in 1999 and then an incredible seven-year consecutive premier class win streak at Mugello from 2002 to 2008, making him the only Grand Prix rider ever to take seven straight wins at his home race.
The Mugello circuit is one of the fastest tracks on the MotoGP calendar. With a straight of over a kilometre in length fans can expect to see some incredible speeds as the 1000cc machines get pushed to the limit.
The rest of the 5.245km track is guaranteed to provide exciting racing with 15 turns, varied camber and gradient changes and high speed chicanes set on an extra wide track with many overtaking possibilities.
Jorge Lorenzo: “I'm looking forward to visiting Mugello after suffering a very disappointing weekend at Le Mans. It was a tough race for us and I want to recover points at Mugello, a good track for me.
I like the circuit a lot because of its layout, plenty of long and high-speed corners. I have a lot of good memories there and I would like to make a positive weekend. I think also for Yamaha it is a good place to get the best performance.
The circuit is amazing to ride and also the temperature is quite warm, as well as Jerez. The crowd is also very passionate there. The only weak point for us is the long straight, where maybe our rivals are stronger than us, but in general the track is very suitable for our bike.
I can`t wait to go to Italy and find the pace. We need to cut away the gap to the front but anyway, the Championship is long so we have to be calm.”
Valentino Rossi: “I am very happy that we go to Mugello. I love this track and I'm really happy to go back there with Yamaha. This is a track that I really like and a good result is important. Unfortunately we are still not fast enough so we need to improve, especially in dry conditions.
We must work hard and improve the bike. The Mugello race will be difficult, but we will try to do everything to get the best result. A podium would be really nice. I believe that there will be many people at Mugello so I'm happy and the heat in Mugello is always good!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager: "Well, after Le Mans where the result was very disappointing for us we need to make a good race. After three races where we have not found the pace wanted we will try to get some good points to keep our focus on the Championship.
We know our rivals are really strong but there are still 14 races to go, this is quite long and the first track where we have to fight for the victory is Mugello. This circuit I think suits Jorge and Yamaha quite well so we hope to start in a good way.” Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“I'm really looking forward to the Mugello race. This is our first home race and it’s a really nice circuit, a really nice place and there are always a lot of fans there. I think now that Valentino is back with a competitive bike more people will come to see the race as well.
We always get a good result at this circuit so we are looking for a completely different result from Le Mans. We will start the first practice really focused to prepare the entire weekend in the best possible way and we will see what will happen on Sunday afternoon.”