Can anybody beat Lorenzo at Mugello?

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Lorenzo notched his second victory of the season in France last time out as Yamaha recorded a second consecutive one-two finish, with Valentino Rossi runner-up behind Lorenzo at Le Mans.

Lorenzo, who pipped Rossi to the title in the final race of 2015, knocked Marc Marquez off the top of the points standings when the Honda rider trailed home 13th at Le Mans after a crash.

Lorenzo has finished no lower than second in his previous seven races at Mugello.

“At Le Mans we got an important victory and we are leading the championship so we are pretty motivated for the coming races,” he said, “especially the one at Mugello, a track I usually enjoy a lot and where I've had some fun in the past. It's one of my favourite places to ride.”

Rossi, who is 12 points behind Lorenzo, is no stranger to success on his home circuit either, having reeled off a record seven consecutive wins from 2002-08, but admits it's not always easy to keep his focus in front of an adoring crowd.

“I love Mugello and its atmosphere,” he said. “It's very difficult for me to keep my concentration here because there are always so many of my friends and fans around, but the Mugello race is also special for me for that reason.

“I've had some wins here, many great battles and a lot of good memories. I think this year we can be competitive because our bike is good and I'm getting into a good shape.”

Contrasting challenge

Marquez, the 2013 and 2014 world champion, will aim to atone for a disappointing display in France by adding to his Mugello victory in 2014.

He’d posted four podium finishes prior to his Le Mans setback, and Marquez believes the track layout in Italy - and June’s race in Barcelona - will provide something of a contrasting challenge.

“We need to focus and concentrate on Mugello and Montmelo which are two very different tracks from both Jerez and Le Mans,” said Marquez.

“They require more corner speed and if two years ago I would have said that they were demanding tracks for us now I think that maybe they can be better.”

His team-mate Dani Pedrosa is a distant fourth with five races gone, but on Monday the three-times championship runner-up extended his contract with Honda until 2018.

“With our future well lined up we'll be totally free to just focus on the work to do on track,” said Pedrosa, who has been with Honda since his MotoGP debut in 2006.

“So far my overall pace in races has been better than it could be expected from practices, so I'm hoping to start strong on Friday in free practice, and to keep improving over the weekend.”

AFP

Original source: Can anybody beat Lorenzo at Mugello?

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