Mugello Track Facks

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
The Italian GP is one of the classic events, held every year since thefoundation of the championships in 1949. This year's race is the 54th in aseries named until 1990 "the GP of the Nations," and held almost every year atthe classic Monza circuit. Imola, Misano and the old Mugello also occasionallyhosted the race. In 1992 the Italian GP returned to the rebuilt and modernizedMugello facility, now part of the Ferrari empire, and since 1994 it has been afixture at the beautiful Tuscan circuit.

The Italian GP, steeped in racing history, has always been both glamorous andprestigious. This year there is an extra dimension -- as well as the closepersonal rivalry between Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi, whose fans form rivalfactions on the hillsides...

there is the first race in Italy of the new MotoGPfour-strokes. Mugello is certain to be besieged by passionate fans.


Overlooked by the old Mille Miglia route, Mugello lies on both sides of avalley, with the pit straight and paddock complex at the lowest point. Thetrack 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 sameends up in a dramatic last downhill U-bend back to the long straight. Thesweeping, spacious layout marks it as a classic rather than a modern circuit,but a thorough remake almost ten years ago brought the facilities, surface andsafety bang up to date.

The pit-lane complex is superb, spectator viewingexcellent, and safety standards among the highest. Average speeds are high, butovertaking difficult in the fast one-line ess-bends that mark out much of theunfashionably long lap of 3.26 miles; while the direction changes andcontinuous climbs and drops are technically challenging both for riders and forteam technicians. The result is often very close racing, further reinforcingthe circuit's status as a modern classic.

GP DATAAutodromo Internazionale del MugelloCircuit Length: 3.259 miles / 5.245 kmLap Record: 1:53.342 - 103.516 mph / 166.593 km/h. M Doohan (Honda) 19982001 ResultsRace Winner: Alex Barros (Honda)Race Average: 49:26.006 ^Ö90.982 mph / 146.421 km/h.Fastest Race Lap: 1:54.994 Valentino Rossi (Honda)Pole Position: Rossi 1:52.554
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