Think of Mugello and see red. It could not be otherwise because the real Italian Grand Prix (please excuse us Misano) takes place in the Tuscan hills, where there is a strip of asphalt just over 5 kilometres long that seems to have been designed by the god of motorcyclists. The Italians might not be much of a nationalist people, but not in sport and dominating at home with Italian motorcycles and riders is a pleasure that no one would ever want to give up, also because in recent years it has often happened.
In the last three editions, Ducati has dominated: a hat-trick of wins that began in 2017 with Dovizioso, continued with Lorenzo the following season, while in 2019 it was the turn of Petrucci who sealed the deal. All great, indeed fantastic and in this period everything seems to be in place to score four of a kind, because Borgo Panigale comes to its first home race with its riders in great form. All eyes will be on Jack Miller, with two consecutive victories at Jerez and Le Mans under his belt, a double win that he had not been able to achieve since the days of Moto3. There was no doubt that the Australian was fast, but after the first forgettable three races (also due to physical problems) he seems to be back on track for good, and is going like a train. Only the next few races will tell if he has eliminated for good the tendency to lose his way, but Jack undoubtedly arrives at Mugello as the favourite and his most dangerous rivals could be in-house.
Starting with Pecco Bagnaia, who handed over the championship lead to Quartararo in France by just one point. The man from Piedmont is at the moment the most concrete rider, with three podiums to his name and a sixth place (in the second race in Qatar) as his worst result. It would be perfect if he had managed to win a race but, either through his fault or misfortune, he has a tendency to complicate his life on Saturday, having to make comebacks that are so spectacular, but not always good for the standings. The home atmosphere sometimes works miracles, which are what everyone expects from Pecco.
Attention, however, to the French cousin of the Pramac family, Johann Zarco who is rejuvenated after just over a year in red. Being in a satellite team, he is the one of the three with the least to lose and everything to gain. To put it another way, after three second places he is only missing a victory and can risk more than the others without worrying too much about the classification (in which he is still well placed, just 12 points behind Quartararo).
Be that as it may, Mugello is a golden opportunity for Ducati in view of the championship. Because Yamaha is currently only playing the game with Quartararo and taking away important points from him at the moment would be more than useful. Not that the M1 doesn’t go well in Tuscany, but on that never-ending straight it will have to suffer, while on the other hand the bets are already starting to see who will be able to break first the record of 362.4 km/h set by Zarco in Qatar. It is true that there are also some corners where the Yamaha is outstanding, but the Desmosedici is no longer lacking even in that aspect.
Not that Fabio particularly needs allies and it is not wrong to say that without his arm problem at Jerez and the rain at Le Mans he would have a very different lead in the championship at the moment. However, titles are not won with ifs and buts and at this moment Ducati has the possibility of pulling out an advantage that would be very convenient when less congenial tracks arrive.
The ball is on the penalty spot, it seems that only the men in red can make a mistake…