News Report 30 May 2017

2017 MotoGP Italy - Mugello

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5245 m
06 / 04 / 2017
14:00 Local time

Movistar Yamaha is motivated to make its mark in Mugello


The Gerno di Lesmo (Italy) based Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team looks forward to arriving at the Autodromo del Mugello for this weekend‘s Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley, their first home race of the 2017 MotoGP season.

After a brilliant victory in France, where he showed a superb speed, Maverick Viñales is determined to keep the momentum going over the upcoming back-to-back races in Mugello and Catalunya to maintain the lead in the championship standings.


So far, he posted a three-consecutive podium run in the flowing hills of Tuscany, consisting of a win in 2012 (Moto3) and two third places in 2011 (125cc) and 2013 (Moto3). This weekend he will challenge for a place on the rostrum again.

The upcoming weekend is also important for local hero Valentino Rossi, who is feeling extra motivated to dig deep and put on a show for his dedicated fans.

Having left the "Ospedale Infermi" in Rimini on May 26th, after being diagnosed with mild thoracic and abdominal trauma as the result of a motocross training accident, the Italian will undergo a medical check-up at the circuit on Thursday to receive an official declaration of fitness.

The Doctor aims to add another top result to his previous record of seven back-to-back premier class victories at Mugello from 2002 to 2008, three third places in 2009, 2014 and 2015, a 250cc win in 1999, a second place in 1998, and a 125cc win in 1997.

To mark the team‘s home race in Mugello, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates will show off a special livery again this weekend. Similar to the round in Jerez, both Viñales and Rossi‘s YZR-M1s will sport orange ENEOS branding on the lower cowling to highlight the long-standing partnership between Yamaha and JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy (the brand owner of ENEOS), that started in 2012.

The action at the challenging 5.2km circuit will kick off this Friday. Mugello hosted its first MotoGP event back in 1976 and became a permanent fixture in 1991. Soon it became a much beloved circuit amongst riders and engineers, as well as the thousands of enthusiastic fans that cheer them on, thanks to its mixture of uphill and downhill sections, a variety of fast and slow turns (six left, nine right), and its 1141m longest straight at the centre of the track, set within beautiful countryside of Tuscany, offering the spectators great views.

Maverick Viñales

Championship: 1st - Points: 85

After the race in Le Mans I could only say that I‘m so happy and so pleased, the team was working at an incredible high level and I‘m sure that we will continue like that. We have a really good bike for a circuit like Mugello, with a really good grip, and we have to make the most of that. With the championship being as competitive as it is, the next rounds will be all-decisive and it will be crucial to take the victory in Mugello, for sure I will keep fighting. We are going to push at our 100% and we‘ll try to do our best, as always.

Valentino Rossi

Championship: 3rd - Points: 62

Unfortunately I crashed while I was training on a motocross bike. The pain in the abdomen and in the chest is still severe. Fortunately, my condition is improving day by day and this allows me to think a bit more positively about the Mugello weekend. My desire to be at the start of the Italian GP is so strong and I'm working on recovering as soon as possible. It will not be easy but I still have a few days to continue the treatment. On Thursday I will have to do the medical check-up to get the OK to go on the track. If all is well, I will ride my YZR-M1 on Friday to really understand my condition. I will do my best to be on track Sunday, for sure.

Massimo Meregalli

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director

After a strong week in Le Mans, where the whole team worked really well throughout the weekend, we now arrive in Mugello, which is the team‘s home Grand Prix. We plan to deliver another strong performance here, at a circuit that has always been a good track for us. Maverick is still on a high from his victory in Le Mans, where we saw three Yamahas fight for podium places. We‘re certain that with his determination, he will be fighting at the front again this weekend. It is also an important weekend for Valentino. Unfortunately, he had a motocross accident last week, but he is on the mend. He is really motivated to take part in his home Grand Prix as his condition improves day by day.

Fired up Tech3 pair head to the Tuscan hills ready for Italian GP fight

Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger are fully primed for the round six battle at the iconic and world famous Mugello circuit where they aim to power to two highly impressive results. Johann Zarco will arrive in Italy with added determination after memorably clinching his maiden MotoGP podium at his home Grand Prix in Le Mans, and will seek to fight inside the top five once again. Whilst Jonas Folger hopes to build on his notable 7th place finish in France by advancing in Italy, as he hopes to conclude the weekend as the top independent rider. The opening practice session begins at 09:55 on the 2nd June.


Johann Zarco

Championship: 5th - Points: 55

After the finishing on the podium in France, I have a high level of motivation for the Italian GP. Yet, I must keep my feet on the ground because I need to continue learning so that I can understand this bike well in order to finish as strongly as possible in all of the races. The Mugello circuit is very different when compared to Le Mans because there are a lot of fast corners and we need to use a smooth riding style. There is only one hard braking point which is at the first corner, after the long straight over the hill, and here, the bike moves a lot so it will be very interesting and exciting to experience this on a MotoGP bike. For me, the circuit is one that I like because I have achieved some strong results in the past so I want to keep pushing. I will continue to dream about scoring another podium, which would be just fantastic for the Tech3 team and me. The Yamaha has the potential to do this so I will give my all to see how far I can get.

Jonas Folger

Championship: 9th - Points: 38

I am looking forward to racing at the legendary Mugello circuit because of the track that it is and also because we did a great job in Le Mans. Unfortunately, my qualifying result in France on Saturday wasn’t as high up the grid as what I had hoped for, so I have to try to be more confident over the weekend in Mugello. I am fully determined and I will do my best to fight nearer to the front and get a better position on Sunday. Mugello is a great track and the Yamaha suits the nature of the circuit well, so I am really excited and confident about the race in Italy.

Hervé Poncharal

Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager

Next is the Italian Grand Prix at the beautiful Mugello circuit which is certainly one of the much-loved venues of the whole paddock, and for me personally, it is possibly my favourite. There is always an incredible atmosphere and the passionate fans are real advocates of MotoGP racing who give their support at full volume! Usually, this track has been quite good to the Yamaha YZR-M1 and although we have not tested there recently, some of our competitors have but we are confident that from FP2 onwards we will be up to speed and in the mix. This is a circuit that both of our riders really love and appreciate so together with the YZR-M1 and their fast records at Mugello, we can expect another exciting Italian Grand Prix.