Maverick Viñales is looking to bounce back from a difficult race weekend in Le Mans, France, with full force. The Spaniard was pleased with the progress made during last week’s test in Montmeló, Spain, and is eager to keep the momentum going at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley. He hopes to decrease the gap to the leader in the championship standings, now that he has climbed up to second place.
The number 25 rider has a lot confidence arriving at the Tuscan circuit. So far, he has stood on the podium at the Italian GP on four occasions, having secured a win in 2012 (Moto3), a second place in 2017 (MotoGP) and two third places in 2011 (125cc) and 2013 (Moto3).
Local hero Valentino Rossi is also looking forward to putting on a show for the Italian crowd. Fresh from a third place at the Grand Prix de France, held a fortnight ago, the fans’ favourite has moved up to fourth place in the championship rankings, and he’s motivated to make further progress this weekend at a circuit that is very special to him.
The Doctor holds a record of seven back-to-back premier class victories at Mugello (from 2002 to 2008), and he also scored three MotoGP third places (in 2009, 2014 and 2015), a 250cc win (in 1999) and a second place (in 1998), and a 125cc win (in 1997). Besides seeing their hero in action, the spectators can also expect a special helmet design, as done each year by the Italian to show his appreciation for their support.
The winding 5.2 km circuit of Mugello is located 30km north-east of Florence. It hosted its first MotoGP event back in 1976 and became a permanent fixture in 1991 after extensive refurbishment. The track is dearly beloved amongst riders, engineers and fans because of its high-energy levels during a race weekend. The Italian GP draws in thousands of enthusiastic spectators who live and breathe motorsports and enjoy the great views the circuit offers of its fast and slow turns, longest straight and various uphill and downhill sections.