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MotoGP, Mugello: Rossi and Ducati aim high

An Italian has not won the MotoGP race since 2008, strong Italian candidates also in Moto3 and Moto2

Mugello: Rossi and Ducati aim high

You hear Mugello and conjure up thoughts of that five kilometre layout of turns set against the hills, the rumble of engine in the countryside, the fans and the history of biking. The Italian GP is just around the corner and will be packed out on Sunday.

What's the hope? That a local rider can win, not such an easy feat in MotoGP where the last Italian win dates back to 2008, achieved by Valentino Rossi who scored a series of 7 consecutive wins that year. Then, ever since Stoner brought the Ducati to the top step of the rostrum in 2009, it's been under Spanish control. In the last six year, Pedrosa and Marquez have won once each, and Lorenzo four times.

For the incurable optimists, this means that the Yamaha performs very well at Mugello. A plus for Valentino who, after the Le Mans race, promised that “I can go faster than I have in the past” at the Tuscan track. This is down to the Michelins, to which he has adapted well, and the continuous progress seen during the latest GPs.

Fans will also be supporting Ducati that has been chasing a win for a long while. The tests carried out at Mugello a couple of weeks ago could prove very useful in terms of starting out on the right foot, as they chase the dream in the ideal setting.

Dovizioso will probably have announced his renewal by then and will therefore be able to focus on the race, while Iannone, despite having one foot out the door, will also want to experience the unique taste of an all-Italian win. The D16 should be able to harness all of its horsepower along the long straight, striking fear into its rivals.

The red group also comprises Petrucci, whose injured hand should now cause him less problems. We can't ask Danilo to aim for the win, but he could well surprise us, as he so often does.

We can't discount the Spaniards of course, left empty-handed at their home GP. Lorenzo starts as the favourite, considering his previous results at Mugello, but both Marquez and Pedrosa have machines with which to do well at a track where the Honda's weak points shouldn't be particularly highlighted.

While in MotoGP the chances of an Italian doing well are good, the situation also looks positive across the other categories. In Moto3 the last win was scored by Fenati in 2014 and Romano is currently the best-placed Italian in the standings, but there are various candidates in with a chance of a win, from Antonelli to Bulega, without forgetting Bagnaia while Bastianini will not be in top shape having recently injured his right hand.

We finish with Moto2, where the last win dates back to 2012, achieved by Iannone. Corsi was on the podium at Le Mans, while Morbidelli and Baldassarri have come so close at recent rounds. A good trio to cheer for.

Translated by Heather Watson

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