For the sixth time, Valentino Rossi, on board his Fiat Yamaha, grabbed the victory in the Italian Grand Prix held on the Mugello circuit, scenary of the sixth round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP). The Italian ace...
For the sixth time, Valentino Rossi, on board his Fiat Yamaha, grabbed the victory in the Italian Grand Prix held on the Mugello circuit, scenary of the sixth round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP).
The Italian ace was followed un the podium places by Dani Pedrosa, rider of Repsol Honda, and the surprising Alex Barros, in a great performance for the Brazilean on his Parmac d'Antin Ducati.
Rossi set yet another record in his extraordinary racing career today, becoming the first rider in the history of the sport to take six consecutive wins at his home circuit. The over 85,000 fans who had braved the threat of rain and turned the green hillsides of the Mugello valley bright yellow were rewarded in style as their hero scored an emphatic and emotional victory today, his fourth here for Yamaha and eighth in total covering twelve years of racing. Just fantastic.
"To win in Mugello once again is an incredible emotion for me and I am very happy at this moment. Racing in front of the fans here is always something unbelievable and they give me an extra motivation. It's an incredible feeling to see so much yellow around the track, the fans were 'coming crazy' today and it was a wonderful race!" commented the five-time MotoGP world champion.
Rossi got a poor start from third on the grid and found himself down in eighth position at turn one. However, once he had built up enough heat in his Michelin tyres he set out in earnest, picking off riders one-by-one and moving up to second behind Pedrosa by lap seven of the 23 laps for today's Grand Prix race.
"As we had hoped it stayed dry, the sun came out and everything went to plan! My team have worked brilliantly, my bike was perfect and I could ride it exactly how I wanted, I need to say a huge thank you to them and also to Michelin. I didn't get a very good start but once my tyres had warmed up my M1 really flew and I was able to fight back to the front", Rossi stated.
With today`s victory and Casey Stoner`s fourth place, Rossi is now nine points behind the Australian as the fight for the championships get hotter with 115 points for Stoner and 106 for the Italian.
Pedrosa led the race briefly before Rossi moved in for the lead and recorded the fastest lap on his way to second place in Mugello, a good result for the Spaniard in a season that so far hasn`t been what he and the team entirely expected.
The 21-year-old rider, who had been fastest in the dry all weekend, made an excellent start from eighth on the grid and immediately set about dispensing with the riders in front of him. He decisively took the lead from Loris Capirossi on lap six but was overtaken by Rossi one lap later.
"I am very happy to be back on the podium today and this is a good result for me, especially starting from eighth on the grid. My start was very good and I was able to pass many riders. Then in the first corner when I touched the throttle I had a very big slide and they came past again. My performance was really strong from the beginning until the middle of the race and I was able to recover and take the lead," Pedrosa said.
"Then I started to have the same issues as in some of the other races this year. I could see that Valentino was getting away slowly but as I tried to speed up I was getting slides from both wheels, so I couldn't push the tyres any harder and I had to close the throttle a little bit and settle for second", explained the Spaniard.
Pedrosa will now try to get in the best shape for his home race, the P"Gran remi de Catalunya" in Barcelona, Spain.
A stunning performance showed Barros in the privateer Ducati to notch the podium leaving behind Stoner and his works Marlboro Ducati. This was the 32nd podium for the Brazilean rider born in Sao Pablo since his debut in the major class in 1990 (ex-500cc, today MotoGP) and he did it on a track where he won his premier class back in 2001.
"I am of course really happy to have achieved my first podium of this season and it has come at the perfect time. Mugello is the home race for Ducati and Pramac, so I am pleased to be able to give them a fitting result. I would like to say thanks to the entire Pramac d'Antin team for a very good job and to Bridgestone for providing me with tyres capable of scoring the podium", expressed Barros.
The season for the Continental Circus will continue next weekend with the Grand Prix in the Circuit de Catalunya.