Yamaha Factory Racing set up for their ‘home’ race in Italy this weekend for the Gran Premio d’Italia at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello near Florence. Nestled deep in the Tuscan hills, the Mugello circuit is just over 300km from the team’s base in Gerno di Lesmo, near Milan. The track is a favourite for both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, with each scoring multiple victories across classes. Lorenzo can claim one 250cc win, two second place premier class finishes in 2009 and 2010 and the last two consecutive premier class victories in 2011 and 2012.
The Gran Premio d’Italia TIM in Mugello officially got underway today at the Thursday pre-race press conference, where Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa was joined by Yamaha Factory Racing duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone, as well as Ducati Corse General Manager Bernhard Gobmeier.
Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf won here for the second straight year, Corvette Racing took a nail-biter in GT, and two classes saw last-lap passes for victory in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Saturday.
The circuit holds one of the longest traditions of Grand Prix racing on the current MotoGP schedule…
- Le Mans has hosted a Grand Prix event on 25 previous occasions, including the Grand Prix ‘Vitesse du Mans’ in 1991, which was the only year in which two Grand Prix events have been held in France during a single season.
- Le Mans was first used for a Grand Prix event in 1969, when the 500 race was won by Giacomo Agostini who lapped all other riders in the race on his MV Agusta.
Neel Jani won his second straight pole position in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón on Friday with a lap of1:13.429 (109.722 mph) in Rebellion Racing’s No. 12 Rebellion Timepieces/Lemo Connectors/Speedy Garage Toyota-powered Lola coupe. On his first ALMS trip to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Jani went 0.377 seconds quicker in qualifying for Saturday’s American Le Mans Monterey than Dyson Racing’s Guy Smith in the No. 16 Mazda/Thetford/Norcold Mazda-powered Lola.
Rebellion Racing turned the quickest lap in Thursday’s two-hour test session at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in preparation for Saturday’s American Le Mans Monterey, the third round of the 2013 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
Dani Pedrosa clinched his maiden victory of this year’s MotoGP™ World Championship, winning the Gran Premio bwin de España on Sunday, as teammate Marc Marquez spiced up proceedings by barging past Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo for second place in the final corner.
It’s never too early to look at the championship picture in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. Through two rounds, all five classes have points battles that feature close margins – razor-thin in most cases.
Next week’s American Le Mans Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will go a long way toward further determining this year’s championship contenders. Because of the extended duration of the race on Saturday, May 11 – four hours – the contest features two additional championship points per position. Here’s a quick glance at the battles so far…