This weekend MotoGP goes to round six on the calendar into the Tuscan hills at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley. Ducati are looking to make it three in a row here after their wins in 2017 and 2018 but will they be able to stop the mighty Marc Marquez?
Marquez is untouchable at the moment, with three wins from the first five races. He is currently sitting on 95 points at the top of the championship which is the same amount of points he had this time last year.
Mugello is a fast and flowing track is all about speed which suits the Ducati bike and the Italian factory bikes tend to go well around here.
In the press conference today Championship leader Marquez was joined by the top six in the standings, minus Alex Rins.
Despite crashing out of the Italian GP last year, Marquez is confident that this year will be different with a strong Honda machine: “Last year we were not so bad, really good pace but we crash in the race. We have another bike and another engine this year, this should be better, we start from FP1 to analyse everything and try to fight for the podium on Sunday.
“We just need to analyse the opponents. We know it’s important for Ducati here and it’s important for Italian riders and they will like to win the race because you know it’s important for them but for me, it’s another way. We are leading the championship, this is important, and we will try to focus on our box.”
This weekend will be Andrea Dovizioso’s 300th GP race and will be looking to keep Ducati’s winning streak at Mugello going but suspects the level of the competition to be higher this year. He said: “I think all the Ducatis can be competitive here this weekend, but I expect the competition to be stronger than last year. Everybody – Rins, the Yamahas and Marc, for sure. A lot of riders are able to fight for the podium and the victory.
“Anything can happen. It’s important to start with a good base and work well during the weekend, that makes the difference because I think our base is good. The goal is to win but just in the race you need to understand if you can fight for the victory. Everybody expects a Ducati victory, but we have to be smart and take the maximum.”
Mugello is a special place for all Italian riders but it’s a place where Valentino Rossi has had a lot of success. The Doctor has had the most wins at this circuit and reflects on the weekend ahead: “It’s always difficult to understand before the weekend because every year is different.
“Last year was not too bad, I was quite strong during the weekend. It looks like we have improved in some areas but all the bikes have improved so much. So it would depend on a lot of things. All the small details from the weekend and we’ll see.”
Danilo Petrucci’s confidence is high with a podium last time out at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans and is looking forward to the upcoming race: “The podium two weeks ago helps me to find a good way to concentrate and to be more relaxed to arrive here. It was the first weekend where I was able to build in a proper way. I’m happy to have this confidence. For sure, it will be very, very emotional on the grid on Sunday but the whole weekend is very, very emotional here in Mugello.
“2017 was amazing, I remember I was crying on the podium because it was an image that I had dreamed of for a lifetime, to be on the podium in Mugello. It’s something I’d like to repeat, a lot.”
Jack Miller also had a strong showing last time out at the French GP on his 2019 Ducati and will be looking for a good result this weekend.
#FrenchGP | Marquez dominates at Le Mans as well, Dovi and Petrucci on the podium!