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Ducati Targets First Win of New Era at Mugello This Weekend

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Podium finishes are now expected at Ducati’s MotoGP team, and its riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Ianonne are brimming with confidence in their new GP15 race bikes.

Ducati comes home to the Mugello circuit this weekend, where both Andreas tested just two weeks ago. Although Ducati has been competitive at every track this year, it believes the team has extra advantages at Mugello, and a win could be in the cards. Iannone will race despite coping with some injury detailed below. Here is the press release from Ducati anticipating this weekend’s race:

The Ducati Team is arriving at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, the spectacular circuit in the heart of Tuscany, for the TIM Italian Grand Prix, the sixth round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship and always one of the most popular and prestigious events on the calendar.

For the two Ducati Team riders it will be a special occasion, seeing as it is the home race for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer and, as always, numerous Ducatisti are expected to pack into the Ducati Grandstand at the Correntaio corner to cheer on their heroes.

A few days before the race at Le Mans the Ducati Team men took part in two days of testing at the Tuscany track, setting some excellent times. Unfortunately at the end of day 2, Iannone crashed at the Arrabbiata 2 turn and injured his left shoulder. In France Dovizioso scored another podium, his fourth in the first five races of the season, while Iannone ran a great race to finish the GP in fifth place after an exciting battle with Marquez. In the last few days the rider from Vasto underwent an MRI scan that unfortunately highlighted a hairline fracture at the tip of his humerus bone and as a result Iannone will have to tackle the Mugello race with some uncertainty regarding his physical condition.

Mugello will also see the appearance of Michele Pirro, the Ducati Test Team’s test-rider, who is entered as a wild-card for the first time this season on a third Desmosedici GP15.

The TIM Italian GP gets underway on Friday morning with first free practice at 9.55 CET, and the 23-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 14.00 CET.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 3rd (83 points)
“I believe that we can be competitive at Mugello because we have tested at this track recently and we were quick. In addition the team is very motivated: we are at Mugello and this is Ducati’s home race, so we all have that extra incentive to do well. At the last race however we were missing a little ‘something’ and so we are going to have to continue to work hard throughout this weekend.”

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 5th (61 points)
“For sure on Sunday I will race at Mugello but it’s going to be difficult for me to be 100% fit. A couple of days ago I stopped taking pain-killers and yesterday I did an MRI scan. Unfortunately they found a hairline fracture at the tip of my funny bone, and to be sincere that was a bit of a nasty surprise. The swelling still causes me a lot of pain and I am continuing to do laser therapy in an attempt to get it to go down as soon as possible. In any case, I’ll have to grit my teeth like I did at Le Mans, because it’s far too important for me and for Ducati to have a good race in front of the Mugello fans.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51)
“I am very pleased to do my first wild-card race of the year at Mugello, and it’s also really exciting for me to race for the first time with the GP15. In five races the new Desmosedici has already scored five podiums, proving to be very competitive and so it’s a big responsibility for me, but with the Ducati Test Team we have always done a good job on the bike’s development and so I am confident we can obtain a good result.”

The Mugello circuit
Located 30km north-east of Florence in the beautiful Tuscany countryside, Mugello is a modern circuit with excellent facilities. Bought by Ferrari back in 1988, the 5.245km track has been renovated to a high standard and has a growing reputation as one of the world’s most up-to-date, scenic and safest race circuits. A blend of slow and fast turns with sweeping curves, long straights and off-camber corners make Mugello one of the most challenging circuits for the riders and engineers. Having hosted its first MotoGP event back in 1976 the venue became a permanent fixture in 1991 after extensive refurbishment. Set within a beautiful tree lined Tuscan valley, Mugello also offers ample viewing areas for a particularly boisterous and partisan Italian crowd.

Circuit Record: Marquez (Honda – 2013), 1’47.639 (175.4 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Pedrosa (Honda – 2013), 1’47.157 (176.2 km/h)
Top Speed: Iannone (Ducati – 2014), 349.6 km/h
Circuit Length: 5.2 km
Race Distance: 23 laps (120.6 km)
Race Start: 14.00 CET

2014 Results
Podium: 1st Marquez (Honda), 2nd Lorenzo (Yamaha), 3rd Rossi (Yamaha)
Pole Position: Marquez (Honda) 1’47.270 (176.0 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’47.8 (175.0 km/h)

Andrea Dovizioso
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP15
Race Number: 04
Age: 29 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 227 (129 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 16 (3 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)

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Andrea Iannone
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP15
Race Number: 29
Age: 25 (born on August 9th 1989 in Vasto, Italy)
Residence: Vasto (Italy)
Races: 165 (38 x MotoGP, 51 x Moto2, 76 x 125cc)
First GP: 2005 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 12 (8 x Moto2, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2008 GP of China (125cc)
Pole Positions: 8 (5 x Moto2, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2008 GP of Malaysia (125cc)

Michele Pirro
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP15
Race Number: 51
Age: 29 (born on July 5th 1986 at San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy)
Residence: Cesena (Italy)
Races: 81 (34 x MotoGP, 18 x Moto2, 29 x 125cc)
First GP: 2003 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 1 (1 x Moto2)
First Win: 2011 Valencia GP (Moto2)
Pole Positions: 1 (1 x Moto2)
First Pole: 2011 Valencia GP (Moto2)

24 Comments

  1. Tom R says:

    If anyone out there speaks Norm G, please translate for me.

  2. Grover says:

    It’s the rider, not the bike.

    • Tom R says:

      Uh, I think the bike matters as well.

      • Vrooom says:

        That or Rossi went from terrible to excellent on his own.

        • Norm G. says:

          phrased specifically…

          nothing about Ross (the man) changed one iota, it’s the CONSTRUCT of man that waxes and wanes beneath him.

      • bikerrandy says:

        It’s the perfect matching of both the bike & a rider that together they become invincible at least some of the time compared to their competition.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I think that is true for everyday kind of guys like us where our skills vary greatly. MotoGP is the most select group of riders, however, so the variances between rider skill sets are very small. That being the case, I actually think the bike matters most.

    • Norm G. says:

      it’s…

      (drumroll)

      (wait for it)

      …the Law of NATCORK.

    • mickey says:

      If the bike is a pile thats true. On two equal bikes, the better rider wins.so it can come down to one, the other or both being the most important.

      Unfortunately I am away at a motorcycle rally in N.C. And will miss the race as that is a traveling day. I hate missing races. Will catch up Monday.

  3. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    Mugello is Rossi’s home, too, and I hope to see a good race.