Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Move Campaign to Mugello
After securing the second consecutive Yamaha 1-2 of the season during a very successful weekend at Le Mans, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are ready to shine at the 'Autodromo del Mugello' track. The teammates are eager to meet the Italian fans during this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, which is the team's first home Grand Prix of the season, as its headquarters is based in Gerno di Lesmo.
Following his flawless race in Le Mans, Lorenzo has taken over the lead in the championship standings and the Mallorcan is determined to still brandish his number one ranking when leaving the Italian track on Sunday evening. Lorenzo has fought many sensational battles at Mugello before and is one of the best scoring premier class riders at the Tuscan track. The five-time World Champion boasts a seven-consecutive MotoGP podium streak, consisting of four wins in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and three second places in 2009, 2010, 2014. He also took first place in the 250cc class in 2006 and a 250cc second place in 2005.
Teammate Rossi also knows the challenging circuit inside out and can't wait to delight the Italian crowd with another fierce battle for a top result and continue the climb up from his current third place in the championship standings. The nine-time World Champion will give his all to stand on top of the podium this weekend and add another victory to his previous record of seven back-to-back premier class victories at Mugello from 2002 to 2008. Besides this amazing achievement the Doctor also has two third places written to his name, for his efforts in 2009 and 2014, together with a 250cc win in 1999 and second place in 1998, as well as a 125cc win in 1997.
The 5245m historic Mugello track is located just 30km from Firenze and hosts one of the most popular and spirited motorsports events of the year, drawing thousands of enthusiastic spectators. Having hosted its first MotoGP back in 1976, the track was bought by Ferrari in 1988 before becoming a permanent fixture in 1991 after extensive refurbishment. Set within the beautiful Tuscany hills, the circuit's lay-out, a mixture of fast and slow turns and a 1141m long straight, make the track much beloved amongst riders and spectators, who are never shy to cheer on their favourite riders and teams.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
"We are heading to Mugello, our first home race of the season, and the team can't wait to get started. The circuit's layout is very nice, with a good mixture of uphill and downhill sections and slow and fast corners, which suits our bike. Both our riders really enjoy riding here, as is shown in the great results they secured here in the past, and we are looking forward to being part of another great battle this weekend. As always it will be important to hit the ground running in the first session in order to prepare for the race in the best way possible. Let's make it another great occasion to remember in front of the Italian fans!"
Championship: 1st, 90 points
"We arrive in Mugello with the great satisfaction of the last race in France. At Le Mans we got an important victory and we are leading the championship so we are pretty motivated for the coming races, especially the one in Mugello, a track that I usually enjoy a lot and where I've had some fun in the past. It's one of my favourite places to ride and one of the most beautiful tracks in the world. The lay-out is perfect for the YZR-M1 and for my riding style as well so let's see what happen this season with the new electronics and tyres."
Championship: 3rd, 78 points
"I love Mugello and its atmosphere. It's very difficult for me to keep my concentration here because there are always so many of my friends and fans around, but the Mugello race is also special for me for that reason. I've had some victories here, many great battles and a lot of good memories. I think this year we can be competitive because our bike is good and I'm getting into a good shape. At the Le Mans GP we arrived late at achieving the right set up for the race, at Mugello we will not make this mistake again. After Le Mans I'm relaxed and now I'm ready to try to attain the maximum level of concentration for the Mugello GP."
Tech3 duo ready for exciting battle in the Tuscan mountains
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pair of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith eagerly await next weekend's challenge at the meandering Mugello circuit and are confident of obtaining two strong results at the iconic event in Italy.
Pol Espargaro fully intends to finish, for the third consecutive time, at the front of the battle for the top independent team position in Sunday's 23 lap sprint. The young Spaniard plans to follow up his impressive placement of 5th, his best of the 2016 campaign, at the team's Home Grand Prix in Le Mans, with another top tier result in Tuscany.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith will seek to confirm his return to form by battling with his teammate for the top satellite position. The young Briton, who made significant progress at the previous round after experiencing a difficult start to the season, is keen to get back to action at a track which he truly enjoys riding at. The 25-year-old aims to take amends straight away with his target being a valuable finish at Mugello.
Championship: 6th, 47 points
"As usual, I am looking forward to going to Mugello and racing at the world famous circuit. There really is no track like it on the planet and it is one of my favourite Grand Prix's. Having said that, we know that this weekend will be a real challenge because the circuit demands speed, especially with the long straight. I truly believe that it won't be easy to fight against the satellite Ducati's who will certainly be strong because of their power on their home track. Yet, we will do our best to come out on top and we have to get another good result in order to continue the progression that we have made so far this year. The team and I have made some positive steps forward since the Jerez test and I feel confident on the bike now, so we need to get to work straight away in order to reach our target of being the top independent rider on Sunday afternoon again."
Championship: 14th, 20 points
"This weekend we will ride on my favourite circuit and it goes without saying that I'm excited as always for the challenge. The track itself is truly breath-taking and I have ran well there in the past, winning in the 125 class and obtaining a memorable second place in Moto2 in 2011 aboard the Tech3 Mistral 610 plus also finishing in 5th last year. Therefore, it would be great to put another solid result on the score sheet on Sunday and get back to where I should be. Of course, the top speed factor will be vital at Mugello due to the main straight, and we expect big competition from the Ducati bikes who test there a lot. Nevertheless, the straight is just one section of the track, and the Yamaha is suited to the meandering corners so I know that we can be competitive especially after the constructive work that we have done recently. For sure, it was disappointing to fall at the Le Mans race, but I am fully confident of rectifying this in Italy and I can't wait to get going."