Press release previews from the MotoGP teams ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:
Repsol Honda Team head to Mugello
This weekend the MotoGP paddock head to Mugello for the ninth round of the 2012 World Championship. The Grand Prix of Italy also marks the half way point of the season and the third race in a row after visiting Assen and Sachsenring.
The Repsol Honda riders are looking forward to arriving at traditionally, one of the warmest races on the calendar. After an intense battle in Germany, where they demonstrated a very high pace, Dani hopes to maintain momentum after taking his first win of the season and Casey is determined to put his crash behind him.
The Honda RC213V has showed great potential in the last two races, where Dani and Casey have both visited the top step of the podium. They are confident to be again very competitive in Mugello, a track that combines a very long straight (1,141 Km) and fast changes in direction. They will be looking to make the most of the Honda engine's power at a track with the highest top speed on the calendar.
In fact, Dani, currently second in the World Championship standings 14 points off Lorenzo, has the record top speed in Mugello with 349,3 Km/h in 2009, while Casey, third in the overall standings 6 points behind Dani, has the fastest lap ever at this track thanks to his pole position last year (1'48.034).
Dani has six podium finishes and 2 victories in Mugello (2010 in MotoGP and 2005 in 250cc); and Casey has four podiums and 1 victory in MotoGP 2009.
DANI PEDROSA World Championship Position: 2nd with 146 points
"I'm really looking forward to getting to Mugello and try to keep this momentum in a circuit that I also love, for the layout and the great atmosphere. It's a very demanding track physically; last year I got there very weak due to the injury and I couldn't manage a good race, but we had a nice win in 2010 and I feel good now and ready to enjoy riding there again. Mugello is a completely different track, it's important to have a very fast bike in these corners and to get our strong points out in the track, we must take profit of the power of our Honda engine. The first win in Sachsenring has been great for me and my team, we are closer in the Championship on points, but one win will not give us the title. I've kept cool without winning and we will not relax now because we have the first one. This season you have to be almost perfect in every race to get a win, so we will keep pushing hard".
CASEY STONER World Championship Position: 3rd with 140 points
"I've always liked Mugello, we've enjoyed some pretty good results there. Last year didn't go to plan but we know what we did wrong so hopefully this year we can be a little more competitive. I really enjoy the fast corners there, there are a lot of areas where we get a lot of wheel spin and a lot of fast changes of direction. It's not a small dinky little track that you can't use these bikes on, it's actually somewhere where you can open the throttle up and actually get to full throttle. After a disappointing race in Sachsenring, I want to get back on the bike and take some points back in the Championship".
MotoGP Moves to Mugello for Third Consecutive Grand Prix Weekend
The MotoGP paddock arrives in Tuscany this week for the third consecutive race weekend in a row, the Grand Prix of Italy at the Mugello circuit. Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo prepares for the weekend after an incident packed previous two races which saw him first lose his 25 point Championship advantage over Casey Stoner, then regain a 14 point lead over new second placed rider Dani Pedrosa. The Mugello circuit is a favourite for Lorenzo, having taken victory in the 250cc class, two second place premier class finishes in 2009 and 2010 and his first Grand Prix premier class win last year.
Team mate Ben Spies heads to Mugello having valiantly battled against tyre issues in the last two races, intent on finding a set up solution to eliminate the issue in Italy. His first visit to the Tuscany circuit provided an entertaining battle, running as high as fourth at times before finishing in seventh in 2010. Last year saw another strong fight with the Texan eventually finishing just off the podium in fourth place.
The Mugello circuit is one of the fastest tracks on the MotoGP Calendar. With a straight of over a kilometer in length fans can expect to see some incredible speeds as the 1000cc prototypes race there for the first time. The rest of the track is guaranteed to provide exciting racing with varied camber and gradient changes and high speed chicanes set on an extra wide track with many overtaking possibilities.
“After two very difficult race weekends we arrive at Mugello, where we delivered a great victory last year. I love the track; it’s very fast and should be a good one for our bike. I’m very happy to be leading the Championship but we still have many races to go so our target is to again aim for the podium and victory if it is possible.”
“Sachsenring was a very difficult race for us, with the different weather conditions it proved to be hard to find the right set up. Having found something that worked on Sunday we were then unfortunately compromised by a lack of side grip so were unable to ride to our full potential. Mugello is a much faster track which should suit our bike well so I can’t wait to get started on Friday.”
“We’re looking forward to some stable weather, the last couple of races were quite dramatic on that front. Jorge had a fantastic victory at Mugello last year, we know he’s fast there and he loves the track. It’s the ninth race so we are half way in the season and so far we are looking under control and fighting for the Championship.”
“The last two weekend’s have been not what we predicted, but finally we head to Mugello with a lead in the Championship, a place where we know Jorge is very fast from last year’s race. Ben has had two difficult weekends but has ridden very well under compromised situations. We know the bike can work well so we hope to find a set up and a tyre choice that work well as early as possible this weekend and hopefully enjoy stable weather to focus on race day!”
MOTOGP KEEPS MOVING AS MUGELLO BECKONS
The third Grand Prix in as many weekends gets underway this Friday as the MotoGP World Championship paddock moves straight from Sachsenring to Mugello. After starting from the back of the grid in Germany Alvaro Bautista is looking forward to things getting back to normal in Italy at the home Grand Prix for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini. Bautista's goal is to continue making the progress he has shown in recent weeks, which culminated with a charge through the pack to fight for fifth last Sunday, and capitalise on the confidence he has found with the Honda RC213V. Michele Pirro also has a score to settle after failing to finish the German race due to a technical problem, despite having shown a high level of performance throughout practice. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini CRT rider will now be looking to get the most out of his FTR machine powered by Honda in his own home race at Mugello, an important round for the team and sponsors.
Alvaro Bautista “Sachsenring was a strange and unique race for me. Starting from the back of the grid is not easy but after a tough start to the race I found my pace, made up ground and ended up fighting to finish fifth. This experience will serve us well for Mugello even though the characteristics of the circuit are very different to Sachsenring. It will be very important to find a good setting if we want to be competitive otherwise you really struggle at this track. I really want to have a good race because this is a very important event for the team. I am sure that the progress we have made over the last few races will see us back in the lead group in Italy.”
Michele Pirro “I am still upset about the technical problem that forced me to retire from the race in Germany but I am also confident that the guys will be able to study the data and make sure we don't suffer this issue again. It was a real shame because I am sure that without it I could have been fighting to be the top CRT at Sachsenring. We will make up for it at Mugello, a circuit where we are obliged to do well in front of our home crowd and sponsors. I am excited about it and can't wait to get on track and see how competitive our bike is there. The bike is still new and every track is a discovery but on paper Sachsering was not going to suit us and we showed we could be competitive there so that gives us a lot of confidence. I really want to have a great race because a lot of people are coming from my hometown of San Giovanni Rotondo to support me at Mugello.”
Fausto Gresini “We knew Sachsenring was going to be a tough race but Alvaro stayed upbeat and produced an extraordinary performance. Despite starting from the back of the grid he found the motivation to recover positions and achieve a great result. It was exciting to watch and I think Germany just proved the progress we have made lately and it should give Alvaro the confidence to have another good weekend at Mugello. He likes the track and if we can find a good setting for the bike he can be back up at the front again. Michele also has plenty of reasons and motivation to do well at Mugello and to put behind him the disappointment of Sachsenring. In front of a lot of friends and fans on a circuit that should suit our CRT bike Michele should be able to fight to be the top CRT and bring a good result home for the team. The Italian Grand Prix is always very important to our team. It will be an exciting weekend and we are looking forward to sharing it with San Carlo and all our other partners who share in and support this project.”
TUSCAN HILLS TO PROVIDE PICTURESQUE BACKDROP FOR ROUND NINE
De Puniet and Espargaró continue CRT battle in Italy with just a point between them
Two of the most iconic corners, Arrabbiata 1 & 2, await the MotoGP riders this weekend as the Mugello circuit prepares to play host to the ninth round of the 2012 season. The picturesque Tuscan track is not as friendly as it looks and is one of the most challenging venues in the world for the riders and their engineers to try and master. At 5.245km in length and with a main straight of 1.141km - the longest in the championship - it requires a perfect set-up and no shortage of skill to uncover its many secrets. Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner continue an intense battle at the top of the standings after a dramatic final lap at Sachsenring saw the trio swap positions. Lorenzo now leads by sixteen points from Pedrosa, with Stoner a further four back.
Whilst leadership of the MotoGP World Championship may be a three-way battle it is turning into a two horse race for the honour of top CRT. The two men sharing victory amongst the new breed of bikes on a weekly basis at the moment are the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Team pairing of Randy De Puniet and Aleix Espargaró. After a strong start from the Spaniard the experienced Frenchman has caught and passed him in recent weeks, although his advantage is but a single championship point. Both riders and their respective crews are doing a perfect job to make the ART machine as competitive as it possibly can be and their goal is to continue this dominance this weekend.
Randy De Puniet: "I got to Mugello with a lot of confidence after two great results in the last two races.We have found a really good base set-up for the bike since Assen and I'm able to ride comfortably and confidently. We'll start out with the same set-up on Friday and I just hope it is as effective as it was at Assen and Sachsenring. Mugello is one of my favourite circuits. It is fast and has a lot of elevation changes and fast corners. You have to ride well to set fast lap times there and I always enjoy it. Our objective are the same here as anywhere else: to be the best CRT and to continue our positive progression over the last few races."
Aleix Espargaró: "Having so many races so close together is draining but now we go to Italy and we are ready for it. It promises to be a tough race out there because of the heat but I like the circuit and we have an extra day there on Monday for testing so it will be an important weekend. After that we get to rest a little before heading to the USA. The circuit is technical and demanding, one of the longest in the championship and in my opinion one of the most challenging. We'll be working hard from Friday morning to find a good set-up, which is fundamental to a quick lap time at Mugello."
Karel Abraham also pulls out of Italian Grand Prix at Mugello on doctors’ advice
Karel Abraham has taken his doctors’ advice to pull out of the MotoGP race at Mugello in Italy, which takes place on the weekend of July 13th – 15th. Franco Battaini, who started for the team at Sachsenring will not be racing in Italy. Cardion AB Motoracing will therefore probably be unable to enter into the race any replacement rider.
Karel Abraham, rider for Cardion AB Motoracing
“Unfortunately, the hand is still not 100%, and I have to respect the doctor’s advice that I shouldn’t needlessly put it under excessive strain. I’m going to physiotherapy, trying to do some training, and I believe that the two weeks before the race at Laguna Seca will be enough to ensure I’m 100% ready. I’m really disappointed that I’ve lost out on a series of perhaps the best races of the entire championship: Silverstone, Assen, Sachsenring and Mugello are tracks that I really love, and also places that I’ve done quite well at in the past. Laguna Seca is another on the list, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be back racing by then.”
Karel Abraham snr., team manager of Cardion AB Motoracing
“Franco Battaini did a good job at Sachsenring, and if it was up to us, we’d have liked to give him another opportunity at Mugello. The problem for us is that Franco is first and foremost a test rider. Ducati have got him testing after the race at Mugello, and the factory want to make sure he’s 100% focused on that task. Currently there are five riders in the world who have experience with the Ducati Desmosedici GP12, and the factory would have no issue letting them start. Besides Rossi, Hayden, Barbera and Kája, that leaves us only Battaini. To use another rider would theoretically be possible, but we’d have to get the go-ahead from Ducati, the racing teams association - IRTA, and the promoter Dorna. To find such a rider is a tall order, and bearing in mind the little amount of time before the race, it’s unlikely we’ll be using any replacement rider.“
Ducati Team prepares for home race at Mugello
The Ducati Team has travelled from Germany back home to Mugello, where the Italian Grand Prix—the ninth of eighteen rounds on the calendar—will take place on Sunday.
The circuit that twists through the Tuscan hills north of Florence is one of Valentino Rossi’s favourites, and the Italian has no fewer than nine wins there across all classes. Nicky Hayden, who made the Mugello podium in 2006, is also fond of the circuit. At the Sachsenring, both riders made some promising adjustments to the setups of their GP12s, and now they hope to also confirm the effectiveness at of those changes at the fast Italian circuit.
As always, thousands of ducatisti will converge upon the two beautiful Correntaio grandstands to cheer for the Ducati Team.
VALENTINO ROSSI, Ducati Team
“Last Sunday at the Sachsenring, we used a setup that enabled us to be more consistent and to stress the rear tyre a bit less so that we still had a decent pace at the end of the race. It was our best result of the year so far in the dry, so now we’ll start from that base in an effort to improve at Mugello. It’s the Italian Grand Prix, so everyone, including myself, must make an extra effort to do well in our home race. It’s one of the nicest tracks in the world, in terms of the layout of the circuit, the atmosphere and all the fans that come to watch us and support us. We really have to try to do our best.”
NICKY HAYDEN, Ducati Team
“Although I still have a bitter taste in my mouth about last week’s race, I’m very much looking forward to Mugello. It’s one of the best tracks and races of the whole year, especially being there on a Ducati. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of support, and it’s a pretty busy weekend, but it’s a race and an event that I enjoy. It’s certainly not an easy track, as it’s very technical and you’ve really got to be on your marks there. It will be one of the tracks where we really get to open up the 1000s, and I’m expecting some pretty high top speeds. It hasn’t been an easy track for me with Ducati, but I like it a lot. We need to try to put the whole weekend together and do a good result on Sunday, when it really counts.”
VITTORIANO GUARESCHI, Team Manager
“Racing at home, at the end of a stretch of three races in a row, is truly a big responsibility for both the team and the riders, but at the same time, it gives us extra motivation. There’s a big difference between a short, narrow track like the Sachsenring, and one that’s old-style, with long straightaways and big, fast corners like Mugello, but we must manage to find the positive aspects of the setup that we identified in Germany. In this way, we can make it possible for Vale and Nicky to do their best, and also to enjoy themselves in a race that means a lot to both of them.”
Honda embrace solar technology in MotoGP
From the Grand Prix of Italy onwards, Honda Racing Corporation in conjunction with Honda SOLTEC will introduce solar panels to the Repsol Honda Team pit wall chrono-box roof, providing sufficient power to run the eight monitors for up to eight hours.
Voltage supplied from the battery is very stable even during cloudy conditions so power supply is also very constant. High voltage modules are incorporated to the system in parallel so the number of panels required can be increased or decreased to optimise the required power.
This system is designed specifically for the Repsol Honda Team pit wall chrono-box use and is not currently for resale. Introduction of the solar power system will be limited to European rounds only, on an trial basis. However, the solar panels used for the system are available for sale in Japan.
Honda Soltec Co., Ltd. manufactures and markets CIGS thin film solar cells. The company was founded in 2006 and is based in Kikuchi-gun, Japan. Honda Soltec Co., Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Race Preview - Round 9: Mugello, Italy
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
This weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at the fast and flowing Mugello circuit marks the end of an intense three weeks for the MotoGP™ World Championship as well as the halfway point of the 2012 season.
The sinuous layout of Mugello is particularly demanding because of its high speeds, heavy braking and large elevation changes that require tyres with good edge grip, braking and cornering stability, as well as high levels of durability.
With nine right-handed corners and six lefts, the left shoulders of the asymmetric rear tyres are slightly softer than the right side to offer riders improved warm-up performance and grip on the lesser-used side of the tyres. In similar fashion to other circuits with high straight-line speeds such as Catalunya and Sepang, the Mugello circuit places significant loads on the centre section of the tyres under both acceleration and braking.
With this requirement for cornering and braking stability, the front tyre allocation for Mugello includes the medium and hard compounds, while the asymmetric rear slicks will be available in the medium and hard configuration to provide the necessary levels of grip and durability. To ensure maximum rider safety at Mugello, in addition to their regular allocation of ten rear slick tyres, each rider will be supplied with four special construction rear tyres which are specifically developed to withstand exceptionally high tyre temperatures. These extra four rear slick tyres will be supplied in the hard compound.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“As it is the home race for Ducati and the many Italian riders in the championship, the Italian Grand Prix is one of the most anticipated races of the year. The Mugello circuit itself is truly iconic and features sections like Casanova-Savelli and Arrabbiata 1 and 2 that are a thrill to behold for racers and spectators alike.
“The Italian Grand Prix also marks the halfway mark of the season and after Dani’s win at Sachsenring last weekend, the championship is very open and with three different winners at the last three races, this weekend’s result is difficult to predict. There will be a post-race test at Mugello on Monday and as always, our engineers will be on hand to support the teams and riders at this event.”
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Mugello is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and is tough on tyres because of the high speeds, elevated track temperatures, and its technical layout that features many sweeping corners. The tarmac at Mugello is quite grippy and abrasive though and requires very good levels of edge grip and as well as the fast corners, the changes in elevation and bumps in some braking zones add to the challenge.
“Our tyre compounds for Mugello remain unchanged from last year, with our front tyre selection being the soft, medium and hard compounds which will give riders a choice for every kind of track condition and provide good stability in corners and under hard braking. The two asymmetric rear slick choices for Mugello, the medium and hard options, feature slightly softer rubber on the left shoulder compared to the right to give more desirable grip characteristics in the lesser used left-hand corners, in particular Bucine where getting good drive onto the main straight is very important.”