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MotoGP from Mugello this Sunday July 15th – Watch it at O’Malley’s

Posted on July 13, 2012 by acruhl

MotoGP is at Mugello this weekend. We’ll be watching it on TV at O’Malley’s on Sunday at noon as usual.

In practice, Lorenzo is fastest but Nicky Hayden is in third and less than a tenth of a second behind. Rossi is in seventh and is almost a second slower than Lorenzo. Both of these times are better than normal for the Ducati team, so this could be positive.

Mugello is an interesting place for many reasons. This is the true Italian “home” of MotoGP racing, even though the series visits Misano and there are other very famous Italian tracks. This one is in the middle of the country and is closest to Ducati. Valentino Rossi has said many times that this is his favorite place to race. He usually has a new helmet for this track every year. I wear the one from 2008 (the scared face).

Another interesting point is Mugello was the place where perhaps the most famous or infamous tire failure happened in the modern MotoGP era. Shinya Nakano on the Kawasaki was going over 200 mph on the straight when his rear Bridgestone tire exploded and caused him to have a heavy crash. I believe this was 2004. This is relevant because it was only 2 races ago at Assen where Bridgestone tires failed for Rossi, Spies, and maybe others. At the next race (last weekend) at Sachsenring, Bridgestone tire engineers told Jorge Lorenzo that he could not use the softer tire in the race, even though he was about 1.5 seconds a lap quicker on it. Alvaro Bautista was the only rider who ignored Bridgestone’s advice and used the soft tire, and he went from last to seventh with no tire issues.

Clearly, Bridgestone will be very interested in ensuring that their tires last, but they also have to not affect the racing too much. We’ll have to see what happens.

And we might see some magic from Rossi or Ducati. If there is one track where it could happen, it would be here.

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