The Ducati Team is back in action again this weekend at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM at Mugello, where it will look to put on a good show for its home support.
Valentino Rossi’s crew chief Jeremy Burgess outlines the layout of the popular Italian track, which is known for being one of the fastest on the MotoGP™ calendar: “Mugello is one of the oldest circuits that we go to and it has a very fast straight and the corners are good corners – fast corners! It has a lot of undulation and the chicanes are very fast, so physically for the rider it’s a very demanding circuit. Top speeds will probably be the highest we have at any of the circuits this year, which should be exciting.For us and Valentino, of course, it’s always a very important race.”
Setting the Desmosedici up for the fast direction change is one of the key points the Australian and his team will be focussing on as they head out for the first warm-up on Friday: “We need a bike in Mugello for the fast chicanes that the rider is physically capable of moving through those corners very quickly, and of course we need good conditions for good racing. But it’s always a very exciting race in Mugello with the Italian fans. And I think everybody likes to be in Tuscany.”
The Ducati team has undertaken much of it’s testing on the Desmosedici at the Tuscan track, yet Burgess feels this does not necessarily give a tremendous advantage heading into the race: “We’ve done a lot of testing there with Ducati but that doesn’t always mean you’re going to be successful on race day, but hopefully we’ll be very competitive.”
Rossi, a nine times winner at the track, is a huge fan of Mugello and is looking forward to his home race: “Mugello is great. It’s one of the best tracks in the world for the layout and also for the atmosphere, because we have a lot of Italian fans there, so we need to make a special effort to try to give them a better result.”
Other Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden is equally as enthusiastic, despite suffering mixed results there in the past: “Mugello’s a great track and great race, maybe one of the best in the championship. It’s not a track that’s been really good for me on the Ducati, but it’s a track I really like and a race I really like so we’ll go there and try again. It’s a tough place for the set-up and the bike. It’s really fast and technical and can be a really fun track to too.”