The #ItalianGP was first hosted at the Autodromo del Mugello in 1976, when Barry Sheene took victory in the 500cc class, just 0.1s ahead of Phil Read. Located in the Tuscan region in central Italy, just north of Rome, Mugello is home to Ducati, great racing and the iconic sea of yellow the world has come to associate with one Valentino Rossi and his beloved #ItalianGP.
The most successful riders among the 2021 grid at the Autodromo del Mugello are Valentino Rossi, who has 9 wins at this circuit across MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc, and Marc Marquez who has 3 wins across MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc. However, all victories at Mugello since the introduction of the MotoGP class in 2002 are shared by just 7 riders; Valentino Rossi (7 wins), Jorge Lorenzo (6 wins), Dani Pedrosa (1 win), Casey Stoner (1 win), Marc Marquez (1 win), Andrea Dovizioso (1 win) and Danilo Petrucci (1 win).
As this is Ducati’s playground, it can only be expected that the Bologna Bullets perform well at the Autodromo del Mugello. In 2019, the last #ItalianGP, it was Petrucci who took victory, being Ducati’s 4th victory at Mugello in the premier class, following in the footsteps of Stoner (2009), Dovizioso (2017) and Lorenzo (2018). As we head into the 2021 #ItalianGP, should any of the current Ducati riders win Sunday’s Grand Prix, this would make them the forth different Ducati rider to stand on the top step of the #ItalianGP in the last 4 Grand Prix hosted at Mugello. This would be the first time Ducati would achieve this at any one circuit.
Last time out at the #FrenchGP, Ducati Lenovo’s Jack Miller claimed his 3rd premier class victory, making him the latest Australian with back to back wins since Stoner in 2012. Following the #SpanishGP (Miller/Bagnaia) and the #FrenchGP (Miller/Zarco), this is the first time back to back Ducati 1-2s have occurred in MotoGP. There have only been 4 occasions in the modern MotoGP era where there has been no Spanish or Italian rider on the podium; the British, Czech and San Marino Grand Prix’ in 2007 and the 2021 #FrenchGP. On each of these occasions it has been an Australian who took victory; Stoner during all 3 Grand Prix in 2007, and Miller at Le Mans 2021. With Miller winning, Johann Zarco 2nd and Francesco Bagnaia 4th, this is only the 3rd time that there have been 3 Ducati’s in the top 4, along with the 2019 #FrenchGP and the 2007 #TurkishGP.
Yamaha’s last win at the #ItalianGP was in 2016, when Lorenzo won. Yamaha have 12 wins in total, including 5 in a row with Rossi (2004-2008), and 5 with Lorenzo (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016). Quartararo leads the way into the #ItalianGP in the championship standings, with 80 points, ahead of Ducati Lenovo’s Bagnaia (79 points), Pramac Racing’s Zarco (68 points) and Ducati Lenovo’s Miller (64 points).
As Fabio Quartararo was joined on the podium last time out at the #FrenchGP, this was only the 2nd time in Grand Prix history that 2 French riders have stood on the podium at their home Grand Prix – the first being in 1954 at Reims, with Pierre Monneret winning and Jacques Collot finishing 3rd. Last time out at the #FrenchGP, Rossi finished in 11th, his best result since the #SanMarinoGP 2020.
Honda’s last premier class victory at the Autodromo del Mugello was in 2014, as Marc Marquez won from pole position. No Honda rider has won a race since the 2019 #ValenciaGP – 19 successive races without victory which is Honda’s longest winless streak since their return to Grand Prix racing in 1982. Last time out at the #FrenchGP was the first time 3 Hondas finished inside the top 8 since Aragon 2020, with Alex Marquez (P6), Takaaki Nakagami (P7), and Pol Espargaro (P8).
Suzuki have had 2 wins in the premier class, with Barry Sheene in 1976, and Kevin Schwantz in 1992. However, their best result since the introduction of the MotoGP class in 2002, was with Alex Rins in 2019. After a dismal start to his 2021 season Rins will be aiming to score some solid points at this weekend’s #ItalianGP.
KTM’s Petrucci finished 5th at Le Mans, equalling Brad Binder’s 5th position in Portugal this season.
After an incredibly impressive showing from Aprilia last time out at the #FrenchGP, with Rookie of the Year contender Lorenzo Savadori securing his first ever Q2 session, disaster struck when both Aprilia’s were forced to retire from the #FrenchGP due to mechanical issues. Can the Aprilia duo build on their #FrenchGP progress, in order to secure their best ever finish at their home #ItalianGP?
Following the #SpanishGP and the #FrenchGP this is the first time that no Spanish riders have been on the podium in back to back races since 2011. The last time that no Spanish rider stood on the podium for 3 successive races was the 2007 season. As Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro retired from the #FrenchGP, and Suzuki’s Mir crashed out, there have been only 3 riders who have scored points in all 5 rounds so far: Quartararo, Bagnaia and Maverick Viñales. Loris Capirossi is the only Italian rider other than Rossi, Dovizioso and Petrucci to take a premier class victory at the #ItalianGP.
The weather looks set to be dry and warm throughout the opening day and qualifying, with showers forecast on Sunday, just in time for the Grand Prix. Who will triumph at the #ItalianGP – will Aprilia manage to string together their maiden victory, can Yamaha further their championship lead, or will Miller continue his winning streak? Action starts with FP1 at 9:55am (GMT +2).