Andrea Dovizioso looks forward to continuing his strong form at his home race in Mugello this weekend. He currently sits 3rd in the World Championship standings and will be hoping to put on a show for the rabid Italian fans that gather for the Mugello MotoGP.
REPSOL HONDA TEAM HEADS FOR MAJESTIC MUGELLO
The 2010 MotoGP World Championship resumes this weekend with one of the classic races on the calendar as the stunning Mugello circuit hosts the Grand Prix of Italy. Repsol Honda riders Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa arrive at the fast and sinuous circuit looking to build on their solid starts to the season, and each is determined to take away the best possible result as MotoGP enters its busiest phase of the summer.
For Dovizioso this will be a special race – being at his home circuit – and he arrives at Mugello on a high after scoring a hard-fought podium finish at the last race in France just over a week ago. The 24-year-old, who was born in Forli just 95km away from Mugello, knows what it feels like to lead the Italian Grand Prix on a Honda RC212V. In last year’s rain-affected race, Dovizioso made use of his peerless ability in mixed conditions to head the field for seven laps, eventually finishing fourth, just 0.053s from the podium and only 2.129s behind the winner. Dovizioso lies third in the 2010 World Championship with two podium finishes to his name from the first three races, and he’ll be hoping the partisan crowd can spur him on to even greater things this weekend.
His team-mate Pedrosa will be determined that all the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place this weekend and he can fulfill the race-winning potential he has shown since the second round of this year’s championship. The 24-year-old Spaniard and his ever-improving RC212V have increasingly displayed the speed required to run at the front and challenge the leaders – as his near-win in Jerez and his competitive first half of the last race at Le Mans displayed. Pedrosa won the 250cc race at Mugello in 2005 and has two MotoGP podiums to his name at the spectacular venue. Moreover, in practice for last year’s Italian Grand Prix, Pedrosa set a new outright MotoGP top speed record of 349.3km/h (216.9mph) on his RC212V. He’ll be hoping that kind of incredible pace can fire him to the top step of the podium this year.
As well as boasting a long, fast straight Mugello is known as an elegant, flowing circuit with quick, undulating turns which challenge the skill and bravery of even the world’s best riders. Add to that the carnival atmosphere that builds in intensity and volume from Friday to Sunday and the result is a fantastic event in terms of pure racing and sheer spectacle. With six MotoGP races over the next eight weekends, the Repsol Honda Team is looking to start its busy summer with a strong showing at the Italian classic.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – World Championship position 3rd 42 points
“We’re arriving at Mugello in a good situation. Two weeks ago at Le Mans I was able to ride fast, we had a good race and I ended up with a great podium finish – plus we were quite close to the two Yamahas. I think that if I had been able to qualify further forward, we could have got an even better result. So that result has set us up well for Mugello which is a very special track for me. The circuit is really fascinating to ride – it’s so challenging and demanding to get right and this is what makes it so appealing. Plus the support of the Italian fans is incredible. I like everything here: the people, the circuit, Tuscany, Firenze, the food… I really look forward to racing at Mugello. It’s also a special appointment also for my fans gathered at the Casanova Savelli turns, so I’ll do everything I can to put on a good show for them this weekend.”
DANI PEDROSA – World Championship position 4th 40 points
“Mugello is one of the circuits you always look forward to because the atmosphere is incredible. It’s very similar to Spain, people are very passionate, the viewing areas are normally full from the first day of practice and it helps you to get quickly in the mood for the Grand Prix. We will have to work hard this weekend, for sure, but we are very motivated to improve on the final result we got in France. We are working well with the team, adapting the bike to get the best package possible for each track, and we need to get it absolutely right for the race. I hope we can do that in Italy. This season we go there in much better shape than last year and that’s important because Mugello is a physically demanding track to ride, especially in the fast direction changes. The strategy for the weekend is simply to be totally focused and get the maximum out of every session.”
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