Rossi's record at Mugello is remarkable a 125cc win in 1997; a 250cc win in 1999; and seven consecutive premier class wins from 2002 to 2008 (he is the only Grand Prix rider ever to
take seven straight wins at his home race).
He told the Yamaha team website
“I am very happy that we go to Mugello. I love this track and I'm really
happy to go back there with Yamaha. This is a track that I really like
and a good result is important. Unfortunately we are still not fast
enough so we need to improve, especially in dry conditions. We must work
hard and improve the bike. The Mugello race will be difficult, but we
will try to do everything to get the best result. A podium would be
really nice. I believe that there will be many people at Mugello so I'm
happy and the heat in Mugello is always good!”
His race weekend has started well, claiming second spot behind Factory Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in the combined practice times today. Yamaha were able to secure a one, two, three after Britain's Cal Crutchlow claimed third place for his Tech 3 Yamaha team.
Marc Marquez, who has lit up this year's championship in his debut season, had a nasty crash after losing control of his Honda on the long Mugello straight, but luckily escaped serious injury. In a separate incident, British rider Bradley Smith broke his left wrist in another heavy crash, but has been passed fit to race on Sunday.
Mugello has one of the longest straights in the MotoGP calendar - generating some of the highest speeds. Marquez had set the highest speed through the traps of a frightening 342kph (212mph)!
As well as looking forward to the racing, we'll also be looking with interest at the AGV Pista GP
helmet special edition graphics Valentino Rossi will be sporting at this year's race!