You say Mugello and think of the Italian GP. Those 5 abundant kilometres of asphalt that glide through the hills of Tuscany are a paradise for any motorcyclist, especially for Italian ones. The Scarperia circuit entered the world championship calendar in 1976 (when the race was called the Grand Prix of Nations) and the first to win on those corners in the premier class was Barry Sheene. In those years the Mugello was not a fixed round of the Circus, in 1978 it returned and the winner was Kenny Roberts, then Freddie Spencer in 1985, then Schwantz in 1992, before Mick Doohan's five-year reign from 1994, followed by Alex Criville in 1999.
The historical preamble is useful to say that to see the first Italian rider celebrate on the top step of the podium at Mugello we had to wait until the new millennium when, in 2000, Loris Capirossi in 500 won after a battle to the last overtaking (and crash) against Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi.
From then on, the situation became easier for the Azzurri platoon, or rather for the Doctor, who was unbeatable for 7 consecutive years: from 2002 to 2008 (when it was party time with Simone Corsi winning in 125cc and Marco Simoncelli in 250). After that hangover of successes, the wind changed again and the Azzurri were no longer able to impose themselves in MotoGP.
In 2017 it was Andrea Dovizioso who broke the taboo: Italian rider on an Italian bike and hat-trick in the three classes with Andrea Migno and Mattia Pasini first in Moto3 and Moto2. After Dovi, it was Danilo Petrucci who repeated the feat in 2019, the year of the battle (won) by the rider from Terni against Andrea and Marc Marquez.
And today? On the eve of the Mugello GP, Italian fans have got a lot to hope for, even if the two strongest riders in MotoGP have never been prophets at home, as they say. Obviously, we are talking about Bastianini and Bagnaia, both of whom have already won this season. Enea at Mugello has never been on the podium in any class and his best result is a 5th place, in Moto3 in 2015, in his second season. Then some placements and nothing more. Up to last year's disaster, when at the end of the sighting lap he hit Zarco and couldn't even start.
“Although I feel good at Mugello, I have not yet had the pleasure of getting on the podium. Maybe this year is the right time" the Gresini team rider crosses his fingers. Without a doubt, the right conditions are all there: the Beast of Rimini comes from a victory at Le Mans, the third in 7 races, no one has been able to do better than him. The GP21 has become like a glove for him and, if there's a good time to get rid of the jinx, this is it.
Even Bagnaia at Mugello has picked up very little, only one podium in 2016, 3rd when he was still racing in Moto3 with Mahindra. Even in the year of the Moto2 title he had to settle for the wooden medal.
It was a different story last year, when he was close to pole position, he took the lead but crashed on lap 2. It was the GP of the tragic death of Dupasquier and Pecco could not find the right concentration.
In a few days there will be another page to write and Bastianini and Bagnaia could put their signature at the bottom. But not only them, because Morbidelli has everything to be a protagonist in MotoGP, Marini has proven to be fast, Dovizioso has great experience, the rookies Bezzecchi and Di Giannantonio are ready to spring a surprise. Home advantage might do the rest…