Italian GP: Gresini Racing preview

READY FOR THE HOME GRAND PRIX After splashing his way to the podium in the treacherously wet conditions of Le Mans, Marco Melandri is ready to wind the throttle open at one of the fastest circuits in the world: Mugello. Spurred on by the ...

READY FOR THE HOME GRAND PRIX

After splashing his way to the podium in the treacherously wet conditions of Le Mans, Marco Melandri is ready to wind the throttle open at one of the fastest circuits in the world: Mugello. Spurred on by the passionate home support, Team Honda Gresini arrive at their home Grand Prix ready for another exciting new challenge. Melandri's objective is to repeat or even improve his best result of the season in front of his own fans, who are sure to pack the beautiful Tuscan hills surrounding the circuit.

Toni Elias, meanwhile, was able to put his unfortunate race crash in France behind him with two days of positive tests at Le Mans. The combative Spaniard is highly motivated and fully focused on getting back to the run of good results he had started in the previous races.

The Honda Gresini pair currently lie fourth and eight respectively in the championship: Marco has 61 points -- just one less than fellow Honda rider Dani Pedrosa in third place. Toni has registered 35 points so far.

Marco Melandri : "It's nice to be heading to my home race on the back of a podium at Le Mans, a result myself and the whole team had worked really hard for. Your home Grand Prix is always exciting but demanding at the same time -- in fact, Mugello is one of the most technical circuits on the calendar. Over the two days of tests in France we worked a lot on suspension although we still didn't fully solve the problems I've been having in corner entry. It will be a tough race but the mere idea of racing in front of the Italian fans is a nice boost. I still haven't made it to the podium in the premier-class at Mugello, so to make it this time would be fantastic. As far as tyre choice is concerned, at Mugello we'll be using a similar construction to Le Mans but with a different compound in order to cope with the technical demands of the track."

TONI ELIAS : "Mugello is a very technical track with a lot of changes in direction, which makes it physically demanding. From a riding perspective it is one of the most difficult on the whole calendar. Last year I made a good recovery from twelfth on the grid to finish seventh, and this season I am aiming much higher. The test at Le Mans confirmed the great job we had done throughout the weekend on the race setting for dry conditions. We did a good race simulation so I was happy about that but Mugello will be a completely different challenge.

THE TRACK: Just a few kilometres from Florence, the hills of Mugello are adorned by the trail of one of the most beautiful race circuits in the world. Both spectacular and technical, Mugello is a circuit where the rider can make the difference at any point on the track. It is characterised by changes in elevation, super-fast "esses", off-camber corners and an extremely long front straight.

MUGELLO: THE SHOW IS READY TO START

Many changes have been made to the Autodromo del Mugello this year in the name of innovation, hospitality and safety. A new welcome centre designed in the shape of a helmet will greet the fans on their arrival at the circuit. The innovative design is set to become the new symbol for the circuit, which is owned by Ferrari, whilst the journalists will also get to enjoy the facilities at a new media centre. One of the biggest changes is the safety run-off at Arrabbiata 1: 11,500m" of gravel with an average run-off of 30m. Now the run-off at Arrabbiata 1 & 2 has merged to make one, measuring an extra 280 metres.Huge natural grandstands have been created at the Scarperia and Correntaio corners. In total some 20,000 extra bums will be on seats this year -- 8,000 at Materassi, 3,000 at Correntaio, 5,000 in the main grandstand and 4,000 at Poggio Secco.Tickets sales have been excellent, with almost all grandstand tickets now sold and the remaining 'grass banking' entries expected to be snapped up too.

-credit: gresini

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Marco Melandri , Toni Elias , Dani Pedrosa