Mugello Track Facts

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
The Italian GP is one of the classic events, held every year since the foundation of the championships in 1949. This year's race is the 53rd in a series that was named until 1990 "the GP of Nations", and held almost every year at the classic Monza circuit (Imola, Misano and the old Mugello also occasionally hosted the race). In 1992 the Italian GP returned to the rebuilt and modernised Mugello facility, now part of the Ferrari empire, and since 1994 it has been a fixture at the beautiful Tuscan circuit.

The Italian GP, steeped in racing history, has always been both glamorous and prestigious. This year there is an extra dimension - the close personal rivalry between Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi, the only two race winners so far this year...

Mugello will be besieged by passionate fans, attending their favourites in this intriguing battle. Kenny Roberts, defending World Champion, plans to lead the charge to upset the all-Italian party.

ABOUT THIS TRACK

Overlooked by the old Mille Miglia route, Mugello lies on both sides of a valley, with the pit straight and paddock complex at the lowest point. The track climbs sharply up one hillside, runs a fast switchback across the top, then plunges steeply down to soar up the opposite side, where more of the same ends up in a dramatic last downhill U-bend back to the long straight. One change this year has been to flatten a humped approach to the final right-hand corner, to improve visibility on the approach to an accident black spot.

The sweeping, spacious layout marks it as a classic rather than a modern circuit, but a thorough remake at the start of the decade brought it bang up to date. The pit-lane complex is superb, spectator viewing excellent, and safety standards among the highest. As importantly, the high-speed corners make overtaking difficult for much of the unfashionably long lap of 3.259 miles; while the switchback layout and continuous climbs and drops are technically challenging both for riders and for team technicians. The result is often very close racing, further reinforcing the circuit's status as a modern classic.

GP DATA

Autodromo Internazionale del MugelloCircuit Length: 3.259 miles / 5.245 kmLap Record: 1:53.342 - 103.516 mph / 166.593 km/h. M Doohan (Honda) 19982000 ResultsRace Winner: Loris Capirossi (Honda)Race Average: 44:04.220 -102.053 mph / 164.239 km/h.Fastest Race Lap: 1:53.885 CapirossiPole Position: A Barros 1:52.811Kenny Roberts: Sixth, qualified sixth (Telefónica MoviStar Suzuki)Fastest Race Lap: 1:54.195S Gibernau: 10th, qualified 15th (Honda)Fastest Race Lap: 1:55.047
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Brent Avis
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