Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 209: Looking Ahead To Mugello - Is Ducati A Dead Cert?

It's been a busy week for the Paddock Pass Podcast crew. As well as the WorldSBK show with Steve English and Gordon Ritchie, Steve joins Adam Wheeler, Neil Morrison, and David Emmett to look ahead to the MotoGP race at Mugello this weekend. We kick off the show with a quick review of how the calendar, and how various restrictions and easening thereof could affect the second half of 2021.

From there, we went on to discuss Jack Miller's new contract with Ducati, and then get into the seats still open for 2022, and who is likely to fill them. That inevitably leads to a discussion of Andrea Dovizioso, and whether he will and should be racing for Aprilia in 2022.

Then we discuss Mugello, who has won there and who could do well this weekend. Ducati and Yamaha have gone well there, but does that mean we will see a Ducati on the top step of the podium? We review what we can expect of Marc Marquez, as he continues his rehabilitation from the arm injury, and ask how strong he will be at Mugello. And we wrap up with predictions of who we expect to win in Italy on Sunday.

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An all Ducati podium is a possibility Shrink. Unpredictable! I would love to see that. Even so which Ducati will win?

Pecco, young Italian on an Italian bike, maintaining his lead in the championship with a win. Fairy tale stuff.

Zarco winning his first MotoGp race for Ducati, after trying with Yamaha.KTM and Honda. That would be cool.

Jack Miller, taking a third win in a row, would be awesome. We would then be talking about Casey Stoner again, the last racer to win 3 on the trot riding for Ducati. And why it has taken so long, a decade, for it to happen again.

Jorge Martin? When is he coming back? I think Michele Pirro 51 is on the second Pramac GP20/21 this weekend.

Beautiful Tuscany, awesome Mugello! I am soooo pleased I went in 2019. Great trip, fabulous weather. Brilliant racing in all three classes. Followed by no Mugello last year & no spectators this year. I am a lucky motorcycle obsessive.

Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki say the MotoGp brains trust. Seems accurate, I would expect Honda to be very close to the pace as well. Marc Marquez? Agree he may try too hard in the left handers and come unstuck again. He will be stronger than he was at the last races, maybe not strong enough to save those front end slides. Savelli (turn 7) could well be MM93's downfall as mentioned in the podcast, maybe Bucine the final turn onto that "straight". Pol won't be too far behind, hopefully.

Wheel see.

Comparing A. Espargaro's and Dovizioso's Grand Prix records is one thing. Measuring their results between each other while possibly racing for the factory Aprilia team next year (or even sooner PLEASE) is an entirely different thing. Gotta admit I like Dovi's personality and have had a soft spot for him for plugging away at the grind for Ducati since 2014. But it would still be very interesting if Dovi wasn't able to outshine Espargaro on a regular basis. In an ideal world Aprilia would field four bikes on next year's grid enabling a couple of youngsters to battle it out with the old guard. Espargaro and the rest of the Aprilia personnel are doing a great job. The Mugello straight looks like the next tough test. 


Dry Fri and Sat, Saturday having some clouds. Sunday 24% chance of rain, no idea yet what time of day but we could get a wee shower. 

Tipping Bagnaia for a step forward at Mugello. Jack and Zarco will be in the front mix. Quartararo? He will do pretty well, but the drag race will be so bad for all the Yamahas and Aprilias that they will display frustration. Even with an excellent last corner exit they won't once even get in the draft. Discouraging and then some. The still gravel hungry Honda, even with all their motor, won't keep up. Waiting for a commentator to say "Ducati power!" again.