Can anyone conquer Ducati in their own backyard?


World Championship chief Quartararo is in a assured temper at Mugello, as three title-chasing Ducatis goal for dwelling GP glory

After going with out the majestic Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in 2020, the riders and paddock have eagerly returned for Spherical 6 of the 2021 MotoGP™ World Championship. Previewing the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley within the pre-event Press Convention was Championship chief Fabio Quartararo (Monster Power Yamaha MotoGP), his closest challenger Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Crew), Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing), back-to-back winner Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Crew), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Crew Gresini) and nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), with all six riders trying ahead to attacking Mugello as soon as extra.

Can anybody beat Ducati on dwelling soil?

The Bologna bullets have taken the final three victories at Mugello because of Danilo Petrucci, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso, and everybody is aware of the benefit they’re going to have down the 1.1km dwelling straight. Ducati have proved their package deal is aggressive all over the place this season although, they’ve had no less than one rider on the podium in any respect 5 races this yr, so that they’re going to be understandably assured on dwelling turf this weekend. Nevertheless, Quartararo can also be relishing Mugello, as a result of it’s not nearly superior straight line pace.

Quartararo: “I’m anticipating an awesome race, you already know after we have been in Qatar I used to be feeling a bit the identical as a result of Ducati had received the final three races and really I’m feeling good on the bike. On the straight we all know it’s not a powerful level for us however there are various corners right here, and the quick corners are the place I really feel good. I feel we have to simply begin the weekend like a traditional weekend, not occupied with the final three wins of Ducati or the massive straight right here, simply go for it, do our tempo and see on Sunday. An important factor is that now we have a very nice feeling on the bike.”

Bagnaia: “It could be nice if I may win my first race right here however in the meanwhile it isn’t my goal. To start with, it’s extra vital to be fixed after which aggressive from the beginning of the weekend. Then, if the win is feasible, I’ll attempt to obtain it. In the intervening time I am simply occupied with being aggressive just like the final race in Le Mans. Within the moist situations I used to be struggling rather a lot at first of the race so now we have to know that this weekend. I wish to be aggressive from the beginning like in Portimao, like in Jerez after which we’ll see. It’s a observe that I like, it’s a observe the place the Ducati is de facto candy so I feel now we have an awesome alternative.”

Zarco: “Having a pleasant feeling on the Ducati and figuring out the Ducati is kind of aggressive right here, I’m hoping to make use of the benefit of the bike fairly properly. The race in Le Mans, the moist situations helped me to get a pleasant podium and 20 factors within the championship, so fairly pleased to be again within the high three and attempt to keep there, maintain gaining factors on Fabio to play my sport. Ducati’s state of affairs, if we will get pleasure from, Pecco, Jack and me collectively and put some strain on the principle opponent which is Fabio on the Yamaha, this is able to be nice for the Championship.”

Miller: “Mugello demons? I imply it is a spot I really like, as I feel everybody else does. Simply arriving right here within the lovely panorama of this place, it is simply, you already know, we undoubtedly missed it final yr. My report card of Mugello is just not probably the most nice one, I’ve at all times been fairly fast right here however simply have not been in a position to see too many chequered flags. I’ll attempt to put that proper this weekend however we’ll see what occurs.”

How vital are these subsequent few races for Rossi and his future?

One of many scorching matters swirling across the MotoGP™ paddock is will Rossi be racing subsequent yr or not. Mugello, Barcelona, the Sachsenring and Assen are up subsequent earlier than the summer season break, and Rossi admits it’s an important a part of the marketing campaign for him particularly.

Rossi: “We now have an important interval of the championship as a result of now we have 4 races in 5 weeks. Additionally, at vital racetracks like Mugello, Barcelona and Assen after which with out Finland we may have one month off. Everyone will begin to consider 2022 throughout that interval, so like I mentioned that the start, in that time I’ll make my determination. But additionally it’s not solely my determination, I’ve additionally to talk with the Petronas crew and in addition with Yamaha to know what their plans are for subsequent yr. We are going to see however for certain now these 4 races are crucial for us to attempt to discover some good outcomes.”

Miller driving the crest of a wave and on for 3 in a row

It’s secure to say that the previous few weeks for the Australian has been pretty much as good as they get. Two wins in two GPs, a 2022 contract with Ducati within the bag and now a date with the Bologna model’s dwelling race. However Miller isn’t occupied with changing into the primary Ducati rider since Casey Stoner to win three races in a row, he’s simply specializing in driving the wheels off his GP21. 

Miller: “Should you’re sad in my state of affairs I imply you’ve acquired one thing going unsuitable. I’ve had a fairly phenomenal couple of weeks and it feels unreal to get the contract signed up and never have to fret about that for an additional eight months or so and simply deal with what I get pleasure from probably the most, which is driving my bike.

“That was principally the time after I began watching racing. I began racing the next yr however all of us began actually watching in 2007. In fact, with an Aussie (Stoner) doing properly. I sadly missed most of Mick’s period. Seeing an Aussie do properly is what turned me on to the game. I imply I want to not even take into consideration the entire three on the trot or something like that, I am simply pleased to be right here and be in a single piece and attempt to do an honest weekend.”

Down on high pace, however Aprilia’s power lies within the corners

Very similar to Quartararo and the Yamaha riders, the 350+ km/h Mugello straight isn’t going to be the place Espargaro and Aprilia acquire a bonus. The quick, sweeping corners nestled into the Tuscan hills are the place Espargaro is worked up to attempt his brand-new RS-GP, and one other high six end result may properly be on the playing cards this weekend.

Aleix Espargaro: “Sure I’m happy, proud of how issues are going. It was a disgrace in Le Mans as a result of I used to be in sixth and chasing Alex Marquez for fifth place so it could have been very good factors for the championship, however races are like this. We had a small technical downside however now arrive right here in Mugello and as Jack mentioned, it’s one of the vital tough, difficult however on the similar time enjoyable tracks to experience on the planet. We missed this circuit final season so I can’t wait to attempt the brand new bike right here, we all know it’s not going to be straightforward as a result of the straight may be very, very lengthy and this is among the weak factors – high pace. However the bike goes very properly on altering course and stability facet, so I can’t wait to attempt the bike right here and I’m very curious as to how we go.”   

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