The Mugello MotoGP round is one of the most magical rounds on the MotoGP calendar. It is also home the home race of the Doctor Valentino Rossi. This will also be the 300th GP start for Rossi. A very impressive number.
Valentino Rossi is the only rider to win a races on the 500 2-Stroke, 990 4-Stroke, 800 4-stroke, and now the 1000cc 4-stroke. Thanks to Matthew Brit from MCN for the great stats. It is expected this weekend that Valentino Rossi will announce a contract extension with Yamaha which will certainly set in motion the contracts for Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa which are pending Rossi’s announcement.
Marc Marquez has not only redefined winning he is also redefining the style of riding. Coming into the premier class last year he was the new guy on the block trying to prove a point. He was compared to his Spanish compatriots Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa with many speculating he will need a couple years to get up to speed. However, after winning only his second race in MotoGP during the 2013 season heads quickly turned. Marquez went on to record 5 more wins for the 2013 season including taking home the MotoGP championship.
The 2014 MotoGP testing season has kicked off in Sepang today with the Marq Marquez at the sharp end of the results today. The defending champion seemed to find his form quickly while belting out continuos fast laps. Marquez will be a hard fighter in the 2014 season if this is a sign of things to come.
Just behind Marc Marquez was none other than the Doctor Valentino Rossi. Rossi seemed extremely happy with the progress Yamaha made with the M1 in the off season but was quick to point out that his target is still Marquez.
A lot of speculation has been firing around the interweb since the unveiling of the Ducati Desmosedici GP13 this week at Wroom 2013 event in Italy. Since Audi recently acquired Ducati last year the the rumour mill has been glowing red with possible outcomes for the 2013 season. So let’s lay out the facts we do know.
- No one has been consistently successful on the Ducati except for Casey Stoner
- Marco Melandri, Nicky Hayden, and Valentino Rossi have all struggled with the unfriendly Ducati
- The Ducati handles great in wet conditions but not in the dry
- Not even the great Valentino Rossi could ride the Ducati like Casey Stoner.
So now that Audi has bought one of the most recogonizeable motorcycle brands in the world we expect big changes right? Uh no. The new General Manager of Ducati Corse, Bernhard Gobmeier said
“The challenge that lies ahead is a big one and everybody is curious as to what we are going to do to close the gap to our rivals. We must work in a lot of different areas where we can make the difference. We have already made some positive changes to the team structure, and we have some ideas for the development of the bike. I prefer to speak about evolution rather than revolution and with this in mind first we want to evaluate the material developed in the second half of last year. I think that with this approach we can improve the performance of the bike in the short term but we are also working on new solutions which down the road in 2013 will be implemented into the race bike."
The Rossi vs Stoner grudge continues even into retirement for Casey Stoner. We thought we heard the last from Casey Stoner when he signed off from MotoGP after the last race of the 2012 season.
Well it appears Stoner couldn’t resist a jab Rossi through during an interview with Dainese about Rossi’s hunger for Victory. Rossi said “Stoner started to hate me just because he lost. After that, he always seemed to talk about the past, this race, because he wasn’t man enough to understand that at that time, he lost!”