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warm up motogp report mugello

Italian rider Simoncelli lead a closely contested warm up, ahead of Repsol Honda riders Dovizioso and Stoner.

Marco Simoncelli of the San Carlo Honda Gresini Team rose to the top of the sunny MotoGP morning warm up session with a late flying lap of 1'48.430 to just beat out Repsol Honda duo Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner. The two pursuers were just 0.008s and 0.050s behind the Italian, respectively. Simoncelli will start from third position on the front row for the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM MotoGP race, while Stoner starts from pole after setting a new lap record, with Dovizioso heading up row two.

Behind the three Hondas was Texan Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing), who starts second on the grid, with a time just 0.082s behind than that of Simoncelli, followed by teammate and fifth place starter Jorge Lorenzo, who posted a time of 1’48.796.

Dani Pedrosa was not far behind his rivals with a warm up time of 1’49.090, ahead of Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team), Colin Edwards (Yamaha Monster Tech 3), Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) and Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) completing the top ten times.

Sissis fights them off in Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Mugello

Rookies Mugello

16 year old Arthur Sissis won the 9th race of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season at Mugello on Saturday, 18 year old Tomas Vavrous was second and 13 year old Aaron Espana third.

“That was such a fun race,” said Sissis. “The tyres were pretty destroyed and the bike was sliding around a lot but that was the same for everyone. I only had one really scary moment. My bike was running so well and I enjoyed it, it was one of the best races we have had. The most important thing for me was finishing in front of Lorenzo, that's what I had to do.”

The race began after rain that left much of the track damp and the decision was made to use rain tyres. Baldassarri, the 14 year old Italian, started from 11th place on the grid but was soon working his way forward into the lead battle. Sissis started from the 2nd row and was leading from the first corner. He could never get clear though with Vavrous, Espana and Baldassarri going with him and opening up an advantage on the pack.

The quartet changed place at almost every corner but very quickly the track became completely dry and the tyres started to degrade. The man most at home in these conditions a week ago in Assen had been Florian Alt, the 15 year old German and just as he did then he charged through the pack, this time towing with him 15 year old Spaniard Xavi Pinsach. They caught the lead group and made it a 6 man fight for the closing laps.

Espana was sensational on the brakes at the end of the start and finish straight and through the climbing right handers at the opposite end of the circuit. Several times he grabbed the lead but could not hold onto it, he was swamped on the start and finish straight as the others picked up his slipstream. “It was a fun race,” said Espana. “Not easy because Tomas, Arthur and Lorenzo are so fast. I enjoyed passing them in some places though. I think I did a good job of it.”

Vavrous made many mistakes this year but this time his ride was faultless, he defended his position throughout and when it came to the final corner was perfectly placed to pick up second. “Aaron was not so good out of the last corner,” said Vavrous. “I had the better line and could pick up the slipstream and got past. Arthur's bike was working very well and I had a lot of trouble getting past him but at last I have got a good result and I can look forward to the rest of the season.”

Alt's brilliant charge through the field had been at the expense of his tyres and neither he nor Pinsach were able to challenge for the podium on the final lap. Incredibly they were caught and passed by Philipp Oettl who had set the fastest lap of the race on lap 11 of the 13, an absolutely sensational performance considering the rain tyre degradation in the dry. He capitalised on that effort by taking 5th on the last lap.

Off the podium for the first time in 4 races Baldassarri explained that the last corner cost him. “I thought I had the chance to be on the podium but going into the last left hander I was right behind Aaron and he braked too early. I had to brake and Tomas was on a different line and got past. It was a fun race and I did OK in the early laps but then the tyres were gone and it wasn't easy.”

Baldassarri now trails Sissis by 17 points but there are 5 races remaining in the Cup. The first of those are at the Sachsenring in 2 weeks time. Saturday July 16th and Sunday the 17th.

Lorenzo rides to second victory of 2011 at Mugello

motogp report race mugello

A fantastic race saw Jorge Lorenzo stalk down Casey Stoner to clinch his second win of the season at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM, while Andrea Dovizioso passed his team mate on the last lap to finish second.

Stoner started from pole position to break from the field early and looked set to have victory in the bag, until with 9 laps remaining, Lorenzo began to chip away at the Australian’s more than 2 second lead, finally catching and taking over the lead with six laps to go. The Spaniard’s win closes the World Championship standing lead of Casey Stoner to 19 points.

Dovizioso hunted down and passed Stoner on the very last lap to grab second position in front of his home crowd. The Italian remains third in the Championship with 119 points, ahead of Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) with 91.

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) battled with San Carlo Honda Gresini Team’s Marco Simoncelli for fourth position, both of whom started on the front row. The two made multiple late braking passes on one another until the American got the better of the Italian on the last lap.

A five man battle for sixth between Rossi, Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar), Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) ensued throughout the race, with Barberá dueling with Rossi at the front of the pack. Rossi broke away at 11 laps to go, putting his GP11.1 in the sixth spot, ahead of the Ducati of Barberá in seventh.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), who dominated the Italian Grand Prix last year, was eighth across the line after starting from the same grid position on his return to racing. The Spaniard finished just in front of Edwards and Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, who had an early run off to finish in tenth.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) retired to the pits with front tire issues, the second race in a row he has suffered with the same problems.

Mugello extends MotoGP deal

mugello extends motogp deal

Dorna Sports S.L and the Mugello circuit have reached agreement on a new five-year deal, meaning the Italian Grand Prix will continue to be held at the Tuscan circuit until at least 2016.

The circuit, which first featured on the World Championship calendar in 1976 and has held a Grand Prix event continually since 1991, has become one of the landmark features on the MotoGP schedule and welcomed the 2011 Gran Premio d’Italia with a brand new grandstand and resurfaced track.

Having hosted a GP event every year since the introduction of the four-stroke MotoGP formula in 2002, Mugello will also play host to the new 1000cc capacity prototypes which will make up the MotoGP grid in 2012.

Speaking about the new deal, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said: “It’s fantastic news to be able to announce this contract renewal with Mugello, which will see the circuit host the Gran Premio d’Italia for a further five years. This is an amazing facility which will have a place on the MotoGP World Championship schedule until at least 2016. The organisation of this race is very professional and the improvements we’ve found this year have done nothing but raise the circuit’s already extremely high standards. The new grandstand on the start/finish straight, the relaying of the asphalt which all riders from each of the three categories have praised, and the environment at Mugello make it a very special race which, fortunately, continues to be a mainstay in MotoGP.”

Paolo Poli, Chief Executive of the Mugello Circuit, commented: "We're very pleased to announce the renewal of the agreement which confirms Mugello will continue to be a MotoGP venue. This also ensures that the Italian Grand Prix will remain the most important event of our sporting calendar in years to come. In addition we will also continue our positive relationship with Dorna, whose professionalism has allowed motorcycle racing to be more successful and popular than ever."

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari Team Principal, added: “The Autrodromo Internazionale del Mugello has become more and more important within our company, and this new deal is a great tribute to the Mugello circuit, its staff and the work that has been done here in the past few years."

Bautista misses out on top-six Mugello challenge

bautista review mugello race

Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista saw his hopes of what looked like an impressive finish well inside the top-10 disappear in an instant at Mugello today, when a costly slide almost caused the Spaniard to crash.

Bautista got a superb start from 14th on the grid and was up to ninth by the end of lap one. He then got involved in a five-rider battle for sixth place – a position he held for six consecutive laps - and looked like he was heading for a very strong finish, when a huge front-end slide cost him dearly on lap-16. Bautista fought to save his Suzuki GSV-R, but accidently knocked the gear-lever into neutral and ran off the circuit. He re-joined the race and continued to post consistent laps before finally bringing his Rizla Suzuki home in 13th place.

A colourful crowd of over 83,000 fans packed the Italian circuit under brilliant blue skies, bright sunshine and air temperatures of 29ºC. They witnessed World Champion Jorge Lorenzo take his second victory of the season, with current championship leader Casey Stoner third.

Rizla Suzuki now has a week away from racing before heading to eastern Germany for the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship that will be held at Sachsenring on Sunday 17th July.

Álvaro Bautista:
“It was always going to be a difficult race today because we were starting from the back of the grid and that is never easy. I made a good start and had a couple of strong laps to get up to sixth position. I tried to push to get to the group at the front because they were still close, but I was already starting to have a bit of trouble with the grip from the front of the bike. I nearly crashed two of three times on several corners and my elbow touched down and saved me once! I tried hard to keep my position in the group and my overall feeling was good, even though I couldn’t enter the corners exactly as I wanted to. To finish the race in sixth or seventh today was certainly possible, but as I entered turn 12 I lost the front completely. I went into neutral and went off the track and lost a lot of positions. I am happy with the first part of the race, but disappointed for the last part, because as I said before sixth or seventh was there for us today. We have to remain positive though and to keep heading in the right direction and improve over the next races.”

Edwards battles to top ten in Mugello

Tech 3 Mugello sunday

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards rode to a hard fought ninth position in scorching hot temperatures during the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM at the Mugello track in Italy this afternoon.

Starting from his best grid position of the season in sixth place, the Texan quickly established himself in a group locked in an exciting fight for sixth position that included home crowd favourite Valentino Ross and compatriot Nicky Hayden.

Despite pushing hard to remain in the five-rider battle, Edwards was unable to maintain his fast early pace, the 37-year-old not getting the grip levels he expected from his soft compound Bridgestone rear tyre choice as track temperatures hit well over 50 degrees.

Today's 21-lap race ended in premature and disappointing fashion for Cal Crutchlow. The British rider was involved in the captivating tussle that involved Edwards when he experienced a loss of feeling and confidence with the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine in the early stages.

Not wanting to risk a crash that might further damage the left shoulder he broke during qualifying for his home race at Silverstone last month, Crutchlow opted to retire after completing six laps and is now concentrating on making a return to the top 10 when the 2011 MotoGP World Championship resumes at Germany's Sachsenring on July 17.

Colin Edwards 9th – 53 points:
“That was a pretty tough race. Basically we made the wrong rear tyre choice but it was so hard to decide which one was going to the better option. I'd been fast on both options but I felt like there was an advantage with the softer compound. It seemed easier to do the lap times that I needed to do to get away with the guys at the start. But I changed my mind a few times because we'd not had the afternoon sessions on Friday or Saturday because of the rain, so we didn't know how the tyre would react in the really hot conditions. With the track temperature much higher I just never had the grip I expected at the beginning. It never changed from the first lap to the last. There was no drop in performance, but it never really had the grip I wanted at the beginning. At the end of the day we made a bad call and sometimes it doesn't work out. To come out of a difficult race with a top ten is still a half decent result, so we move on now and hope for a better race in Germany.”

Cal Crutchlow DNF – 32 points:
“Right from the first lap I didn't have any confidence or feeling with the front-end and I kept running wide. I just didn't want to crash with the Silverstone shoulder injury at the back of my mind, so I felt the safest option was to pull into the pits. I was in that battle fighting for sixth place and the last thing I want to do is not fight, but I felt like I'd reached my limit. I am sorry for the Team because we have all worked incredibly hard and now I am determined to put this race behind me and focus on having a strong weekend at the next race in Germany, which I'm looking forward to."

Lorenzo triumphs at Mugello

Yamaha Mugello Sunday Lorenzo

Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo delivered an incredible performance this afternoon, taking a hard fought victory at Mugello to claim the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM win, the second consecutive GP win for Yamaha this season.

The Yamaha Factory Racing rider was quick to get his YZR-M1 off the start line, jumping from fifth on the grid to tuck in behind race leader Casey Stoner on the first corner. Stoner went on to build an early lead while Lorenzo engaged in a battle with Andrea Dovizioso for second. Having finally dispatched him after four laps the Mallorcan began the hunt for Stoner. Lorenzo delivered a series of perfect laps to catch and then pass the race leader before extending a lead of just under a second to the line.

Ben Spies spent the Mugello race locked in a battle with Marco Simoncelli for fourth place. The American rider had opted for a slightly different set up to that used during the practice sessions and struggled to gain the same performance for the race. Having swapped places with Simoncelli several times, Spies then waited to make his move, passing the Italian on the final lap to take fourth place in the sweltering Tuscan sunshine.

Jorge Lorenzo:
“It has been one of the sweetest victories in a long time. The victory in Jerez was not ‘real’ because it was raining. It was a tough race because of the hot conditions without water in the camel back. I pushed and tried to be there with all of my heart! I tried to overtake Andrea in the downhill at the chicane and then I did the same with Casey because I thought it was the perfect corner for it. Now we have a competitive bike and I hope to keep this pace. I am more motivated and confident for the future after this great result. I think it was one of my most demanding races in my career. It reminded me a bit the 125cc times, with many overtakings. I did a good start again and now I just want to watch the race again on TV. Congratulations to all of my team, they never gave up. I knew it would have been difficult today, but the ‘martillo’ is back!”

Ben Spies:
“It was a good race, me and Simoncelli battled it out. I made a couple of mistakes at the beginning which I’m a little upset about. Looking at the lap times we definitely weren’t the strongest but I think we were just on the cusp of fighting for the podium. I made a couple of crucial mistakes on lap three and six and then let the front guys get away. We did a good job getting back up to Simoncelli. Once I saw we weren’t going to catch the front guys I let Marco back by, I wanted him to pull me around to see where I was stronger than he was. I left it until the last lap, the last corner I could see he was leaving the door wide open so we were able to sneak right in and get fourth place. It’s great for Yamaha to get a win and me a fourth, I would have liked to have been on the podium but you can’t do it every time. Marco and I had fun, we had a couple of good passes back and forth and he was clean so I was happy!”

Double podium for Stoner and Dovizioso, positive return for Pedrosa

Repsol Mugello race Dovi

The Repsol Honda team scored another fantastic double podium in a dramatic Gran Premio d’Italia TIM.

The Mugello race, attended by the former President of Honda Motor Mr. Takeo Fukui saw Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso scoring a well deserved second place and his third consecutive podium finish of the season, and Casey Stoner taking third place, the seventh podium from eight races.

Casey Stoner led the race with relative ease for 17 laps, but after a few laps he suffered a lack of grip probably due to wrong tyre pressures for the 54 degree track temperature which was much higher than in the practice sessions. He was not able to respond when Lorenzo took the lead with 6 laps to go and at this moment an intense battle began between Casey and Andrea, with the Italian giving a hundred percent in front of his home fans to overtake his team mate on the last lap and cross the finish line in second place.

Team mate Dani Pedrosa celebrated an impressive return to the competition after a month and a half away from the double operation on his right collarbone. The Spanish rider overcame intense pain and kept a strong race pace, crossing the finish line in eighth position. Neither the pain in his shoulder or a problem with the clutch at the start, prevented Dani Pedrosa to shine in Mugello on his return to MotoGP. The Spanish rider not only lasted a 23 lap race at one of the most physically demanding circuits in the World, but was also able to match the lap times of the leading group.

Casey Stoner maintains his lead in the MotoGP World Championship with 19 points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso is third, 14 points behind the Yamaha rider, and Dani Pedrosa is now seventh in the overall standings.

Tomorrow, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso will be back on track in Mugello in an Official Test, where development work will continue on the 800cc machine, it is yet to be confirmed if Dani Pedrosa will join them, a decision will be made tomorrow morning.

Andrea Dovizioso:
“Mugello is always a special event and the feeling on the podium is unbelievable. Today I was the first and only Italian rider on the podium and this makes the result even more special. The support of the fans was incredible, they were all pushing for me and they motivated me a lot especially when I was tired because of the heat and this track which is so physically demanding. This morning we fine tuned the set up to have more stability with the front and I had a good feeling. We made a good start and we were able to be consistent for the whole race despite the fact there was not so much grip and the tyres were spinning. In the first part of the race I had some good battles with Jorge for the second position. Then, at the end of the race, overtaking Casey gave me the second place. I could see Casey was spinning a lot but he was very strong in some corners so I couldn’t pass him where I wanted, in the end I managed it on the last lap. This second position is so important for the Championship, because I earned some good points and reduced the gap. Casey and Jorge are really strong but we have shown that we are there, the season is long and we just need to believe it. I want to thank the team and all the people around me. We have a winning bike and we are working hard in all areas.”

Casey Stoner:
"I can't say I'm totally happy with the result today, we started the race very strong and everything felt fantastic on the bike, however, we had a problem with the tyres after a few laps. We believe this was related to incorrect tyre pressures for today's track temperature and we should have probably reduced them a little compared with what we used in warm up because as soon as the tyres got up to a certain pressure, I lost all the grip in the rear and this led to me starting to close the front. I think this is why we were able to be so fast in the beginning of the race, as the tyres were able to warm up very quickly, but then the tyre overheated and I lost all grip. I'm disappointed as our potential to win today was high, I thought I might still have potential to fight with Jorge and Andrea, but Jorge came past and he was too fast for me. Then Andrea came past and I thought I could respond, but I didn't have any traction. It's still a podium, and important points but I'm here to win races."

Dani Pedrosa:
"I'm very happy with my performance and the result was worth it in the end, even if I'm still far from 100% fit. Historically in the past, when I have tried to go back racing after an injury I wasn't able to finish the race and today I managed to. I see that even being out for a quite a long period of time, I haven't lost the speed, so I'm sure that I'll back on top when my physical condition improves. At the start of the race, I had a problem with the clutch and I couldn't operate the gears for a lap and a half, so I lost everything in this moment. I lost many places and when the clutch started working again I tried to get into rhythm and find my pace, even though I was very tired very soon. I was improving step by step and caught the group ahead consisting of Valentino, Barberá and Bautista. However, by that time I already had no energy to push any harder. I am extremely tired now, I gave everything I had and to take eighth position and eight points in my conditions, together with this clutch problem is quite a good result in my view. I'm satisfied with my race pace, I didn't think I would be able to lap in the high 1'49's, low 1'50's during the twenty three laps, so I'm happy about this. Congratulations to Jorge (Lorenzo) for his good race and many thanks to my fans and doctors for helping me to be back."

Comeback race for Rossi and Hayden at Mugello


Ducati Mugello Sunday

The two Ducati Team riders both had a comeback race at the Mugello circuit, where Rossi finished sixth and Hayden tenth.

Valentino Rossi was left behind at the start of the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM to find himself in twelfth place at the end of the first lap, but motivated by the enthusiastic crowd, he caught the group of riders in front of him and climbed to sixth place. The Italian had a better pace in the race than he had all weekend, thanks to a setup change that his technicians made before the warm-up.

Nicky Hayden had a great launch at the start and immediately climbed to fifth place, but he went long in a corner and couldn’t stop on the dirty part of the asphalt. He went off the track and re-entered in last place. He climbed as high as tenth place after that, and although he was disappointed by the lost opportunity, he was pleased that the work done over the weekend has helped him find a good feeling with his GP11.

Valentino Rossi:
"We have a bike that is different in many aspects from the one we started the season with. We’re aware that it needs to undergo further development from a technical point of view, but even at this stage it has shown that it has a good margin of improvement just with setup. The weather didn’t help us at Assen, and the same was true here. We had limited time to work this weekend, so once again we made a significant setup change on Sunday morning. It was a step forward, and in the race I was able to have a better rhythm than in practice, although the improved behavior in corners was accompanied by a small loss of grip. Anyway, we think it’s a good direction to try in the future with our setup. I lost some time on the start because the clutch slipped, and I was almost last into the first turn, with a lot of ground to make up. It’s a shame because I’ve always managed to do well on the starts with the Ducati this year. Still, I’m not sure how long I would have been able to stay with Spies and Simoncelli even if I had started better. The gap on lap times was less than at Assen, which is positive, but it’s still quite large, about eight tenths. We have to keep working in order to stay with the Hondas and Yamahas. We’re all doing all we can, both us at the track and the guys at Ducati. It’s certainly a difficult situation, but to come here to Mugello and see all these flags and fans cheering always provides a big thrill and gives us motivation to return to the front.”

Nicky Hayden:
“We used a different spring combination in the clutch, and I got probably my best start of the year. I was up to fifth in the first couple of corners, and the bike felt good. The tires came right in and I was committed to trying to go with that front group, but I didn’t get it stopped in time going into turn 1 on lap 2. I thought I had it saved, but the front pushed on the dirty part of the track and I had to go into the gravel. I was dead last, but my rhythm wasn’t bad as I tried to bring back some guys. It’s a shame. It’s easy to say now, but I think without that mistake, I could have done a really good race for the team and myself. The crowd was as good as I’ve ever seen it, and it was special to be here on a Ducati. We’ve got a lot of things going in the right way - a lot of support and guys working hard - and in the long run, I’ve got to believe that will pay off.”