Mugello, Italy

2011 Mugello 125cc FP2 Result: Gadea Fastest In Damp Conditions

Dark clouds are hovering over the Mugello circuit, and drizzle has started to fall, adding yet another wet weekend to the MotoGP calendar. The light rain that fell saw the 125cc riders treating the Italian circuit with great caution, conditions neither full wet nor fully dry. Sergio Gadea ended the session on top of the timesheets, setting a time half a second quicker than Sandro Cortese, while Danny Webb put the Mahindra into 3rd.

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2011 Mugello Moto2 FP1 Result: Marquez Leads Bradl

Marc Marquez has dominated the first session of free practice for the Moto2 class at Mugello. The Catalunya Caixa rider held a comfortable lead throughout the session, challenged only once by Stefan Bradl and responding immediately. Bradl had to settle for 2nd, three tenths behind Marquez, with Alex de Angelis a quarter of a second behind the Viessmann Kiefer rider in 3rd. Aleix Espargaro set the 4th fastest time, sitting ahead of Michele Pirro and Andrea Iannone, the Italian the last rider to finish inside of a second of Marquez.

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2011 Mugello MotoGP FP1 Result: Simoncelli Smashes Lap Record, Edges Stoner, Dovizioso

Marco Simoncelli has laid all the criticism and complaint to one side, topping the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class at Mugello and smashing the race lap record by well over half a second. The session became a battle of the Hondas, with Simoncelli and Casey Stoner swapping the lead, with the San Carlo Gresini rider coming out on top at the end. Stoner sits just four hundredths of a second ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate Andrea Dovizioso, Dovizioso getting a little help with his lap times by following Stoner around the track.

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2011 Mugello 125cc FP1 Result: Terol Dominates Again

Nico Terol is back on track after missing Assen with an injury, and his repaired little finger has not slowed the Bankia Aspar rider one iota. Terol once again dominated the first practice of the 125cc class, ending the session nearly nine tenths faster than Johann Zarco. The Frenchman was in turn a tenth quicker than Efren Vazquez, while Sandro Cortese took the 4th spot two tenths slower than Vazquez. British rider Danny Kent put in a strong performance to set the 5th fastest time, but Kent was 1.7 seconds off the pace of Terol.

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2011 Mugello MotoGP Thursday Round Up: Italian Expectations, Prodigal Pedrosa, And MotoGP's Bad Boy

Due to technical issues (internet connection problems in the accommodation we are staying in at Mugello), Thursday's round up is late, for which you have our sincere apologies. We hope you will bear with us through this.

MotoGP rolls into Mugello with what looks like being the hottest weekend of the year ahead of it. And from the events of the first day, that's hottest in every conceivable sense of the word.

That this is going to be something special came as we rolled into the car park at the spectacularly situated Italian circuit. Where normally, Thursday afternoons are a relatively quiet affair, the paddock was bustling with people and the paddock car parks were filling up quickly. Valentino Rossi riding a Ducati is a big deal anywhere, but at Mugello, it is something akin to seeing the Beatles in the Cavern Club or Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. Crowds have been down at every track so far this season - economies around the world continue to suffer - but Mugello could be on course for a record attendance.

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Honda's Missed Trick: How HRC Could Have Taken The Sting Out Of Pedrosa's Return

When Dani Pedrosa finally returns to the MotoGP paddock, he is in for a very rough ride. Pedrosa's injury has been shrouded mystery - at least, it has been since he was photographed at a bowling alley in Barcelona, only to announce he would be missing his home race at Montmelo, just a few miles away, a couple of days later. Rumors that he had reinjured his collarbone in a training accident - possibly involving a supermoto bike - emerged on the Spanish website Motocuatro.com in the days between the Barcelona and Silverstone rounds of MotoGP, fueled further when it was announced that Pedrosa would have yet more surgery to fix a loose piece of bone in his collarbone after Silverstone.

Naturally, the press - and most especially, the Spanish section of it - are chomping at the bit to speak to Pedrosa. They are determined to get to the bottom of this intrigue, and the Spaniard will face a barrage of questions in every one of the press briefings he attends. Doubtless the Repsol Honda team will organize an extra press conference on Thursday to handle most of the questions, but the answers he gives there will be subjected to intense scrutiny overnight, and revised versions of the questions then put to Pedrosa the next day, a process which will repeat every day until Sunday night, when the Spaniard is likely to fly home to Barcelona. Any hopes of being able to concentrate on racing are surely in vain.

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Dani Pedrosa Confirms He Will Race At Mugello In His Repsol Blog

The good news is that Dani Pedrosa has finally confirmed that he will be racing at Mugello. After missing three races with an injured collarbone - sustained in a race crash with Marco Simoncelli at Le Mans - Pedrosa now feels sufficiently confident that his collarbone has healed that he has decided at last to return to competing in MotoGP. The operations - Pedrosa had one a couple of days after Le Mans to put a plate on his collarbone, then another one shortly after the Silverstone round of MotoGP to fix a loose piece of bone in the collarbone - have been a success, and Pedrosa's collarbone now feels sufficiently strong for the Repsol Honda rider to feel comfortable competing again.

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