Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have combined to win three of the first five races of the season and the duo now sits one-two in the overall standings.
Coming off his 90th career win, Rossi is back on top and his past experience at Mugello would make this weekend’s race a good candidate for win 91. Rossi has won six straight MotoGP races at the Italian track with two more victories in the 250cc and 125cc grand prix classes.
“Everyone knows that Mugello is one of my favorite tracks; I’ve won there six times in a row and now I want to make it seven,” says Rossi. “It’s my home race and also the home race for a lot of our team and to race there is always something very special.”
Lorenzo continues to impress in his rookie year. With 94 points and a win already under his belt, Lorenzo is racing like an experienced veteran. Even more impressive is that his success hasn’t been affected by a pair of fractured ankles.
“I have to be really grateful for the fact that I have recovered so quickly from my injuries and to have had such great professionals making sure that was the case,” says Lorenzo. “Obviously we’re still not going to be at 100% for Mugello but with every race that passes I’m able to put more weight on the footrests.”
Looking to spoil Fiat Yamaha’s winning ways is Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda rider is also thick in the title hunt, tied with Lorenzo at 94 points. Pedrosa has also tasted success at Mugello, winning in the 250cc class in 2005 ahead of Lorenzo.
“Mugello is a great circuit in an amazing valley full of atmosphere. The circuit is one of the most complicated in the Championship,” says Pedrosa. “It’s a very high-speed track, so if you want to be fast you need to concentrate 100 per cent everywhere and take a lot of risks. You need as much corner speed as possible and you need a very stable bike that’s also fast through all the direction changes.”
Light rainfall in the practice sessions creating slower lap times than usual. The weather forecast calls for a cloudy but dry race day, but teams will have their wet tires prepared just in case.