Rossi hoping to deliver for home crowd at Mugello
Multiple MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi is hoping his loyal home crowd will spur him to victory for the first time in almost three years at Mugello.
After two dismal seasons with Ducati, the Italian star has made a slow start to 2013 in returning to Yamaha. However, with the Mugello circuit the venue of many happy memories, ‘The Doctor’ is hoping the extra motivation provided by his home race will see him return to the podium.
Rossi has recorded nine wins across the three classes of MotoGP at Mugello, making him the most successful at the circuit. His last Italian victory came in 2008.
“I love the track and I’m really happy to go back there with Yamaha. It is a track I really like and a good result is important,” Rossi said.
“This weekend is something special – the crowd, the track! I have extra motivation to be up at the front. But we have to work more, as we need to increase my speed and my potential. Now in MotoGP you need to be 100% in all practices, and more than 100% in the race.”
While Rossi has several reasons to push hard for the top step, championship leader Dani Pedrosa is targeting a hat-trick of victories. The Honda rider has won the previous two Grands Prix at Jerez and Le Mans and is determined to continue his title bid.
“The last races went very well, and Mugello is a track I like to ride”, Pedrosa said.
“I hope the bike is working well and I want to have a good weekend. I have better feeling on the bike and am more confident, but still need to be focused.”
After letting slip a podium at Le Mans two weeks ago, Jorge Lorenzo feels he has something to prove in Mugello. Wet weather that affected the French Grand Prix has also been forecast for this weekend’s race and the Spaniard is eager to close the gap to his fellow countryman in the standings.
“It was a big disappointment in Le Mans. But this happens in a race, and it has been a long time since it happened to us. We have to accept it and look to the future with optimism. We didn’t expect to start the way we did in Qatar, but we also didn’t expect Le Mans. But I’m very optimistic and looking forward to racing here.”
Pedrosa leads the championship by six points from Honda team mate Marc Marquez with Lorenzo 17 points adrift in third.