Fit Ducati heads to ‘home’ MotoGP in Italy as favorites –

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Fit Ducati heads to ‘home’ MotoGP in Italy as favorites – fr


Mugello (Italy) (AFP)

Ducati heads to Mugello for Sunday’s MotoGP driven by both history and recent form.

The Italian manufacturer, who considers Mugello his home race, has won the last three Italian MotoGP and Jack Miller has won the last two races, in Spain and France, while his teammate Francesco Bagnaia is second in the standings.

Frenchman Fabio Quartararo leads the standings for Yamaha but has three Ducatis in pursuit.

Australian Miller, who this week extended his contract until the end of 2022, is fourth while his quasi-Ducati teammate Johan Zarco, who rides for the Pramac satellite team, is third.

Last year’s Mugello race was canceled due to Covid-19 but Ducati, based 80 kilometers from Bologna, won in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and has been on the podium every year since 2015.

The “Bologna balls” are perfectly suited to the fast and fluid circuit of the Tuscan hills.

In five races this season, Ducatis has nine podiums and has finished first and second in the last two races in Spain and France.

Championship leader Quartararo believes he can crush an Italian party at Mugello even if his Yamaha will face a speed deficit in the mile-long pit straight.

“In the straight line, we know it’s not a strong point for us, but there are a lot of corners here, and the quick corners are where I feel good,” he said during Thursday’s press conference.

“We have to start the weekend like a normal weekend, without thinking about Ducati’s last three victories or the big straight here, go ahead, build our pace and see Sunday. ”

After winning in Doha and Portugal, Quartararo was leading in Spain when his right forearm seized up.

He had to undergo arm pump surgery but returned to Le Mans to finish third, behind Miller and Zarco, in wet conditions.

Bagnaia is just one point behind Quartararo even though he has yet to win in the class.

“It would be great if I could win my first race here but right now that’s not my goal,” he said. “It’s more important to be consistent and then competitive. ”

In six MotoGP races at Mugello, Miller has finished only once, finishing 15th in 2017.

“My Mugello report is not the most pleasant,” he said. “I’ll try to correct that this weekend. “

– The rebirth of Marquez –

Italian hero Valentino Ross, now 42, has struggled with the Yamaha SRT satellite team, sparking speculation it will be his last season.

“We have four races in five weeks,” he said. “Everyone will start to think about 2022… then I will make my decision. But it’s not only my decision, I also have to speak with the Petronas team and also with Yamaha. “

There was evidence at Le Mans that six-time world champion Marc Marquez is back in shape after nearly a year after breaking his arm. He led briefly but, pushing for a statement victory, slipped twice.

# photo1 “We have shown our potential in the wet in France,” he said on the Honda website. “I now have two consecutive races which is a first for me this year. It will be more physically demanding, but we can do it. “

In Moto2, the focus will be on KTM Ajo teammates, Championship leader Remy Gardner, and Raul Fernandez who is only one point behind.

Gardner, a 23-year-old Australian, has yet to win in 2021 but hasn’t finished worse than fourth. Spanish debutant Fernandez has won twice, in Portugal and France.

In Moto3, Spanish rookie Pedro Acosta, who turned 17 on Tuesday, will once again be the center of attention after three wins in five races.

He leads the standings with 54 points, 103 points with another Spanish teenager, Sergio Garcia, 49.

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