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Repsol Honda riders ready to take on Italian challenge

Repsol Honda riders ready to take on Italian challenge

Repsol Honda riders ready to take on Italian challenge

After a short spring break MotoGP resumes in earnest this weekend at the Audodromo del Mugello for the Gran Premio Alice d'Italia that will be played out as usual in front of a passionate sell-out crowd clinging to the hillsides round the majestic Italian track. It's the first race of June that sees three critical meetings over four weekends.

Repsol Honda riders Max Biaggi and Nicky Hayden will be going all-out for a result to help elevate them from their fourth and eighth places in the championship respectively after four rounds of the 17-race championship.

Biaggi was thankful of the break after the French GP which gave the Italian time to recuperate from injuries sustained from his big Sunday morning warm-up crash in which he injured his back.

The 33-year-old will be desperate to give his legions of fans at Mugello something to cheer about where he has finished on the podium for each race over his last four appearances at the track but not on the first step. Biaggi missed the two-day post Le Mans test barely able to walk after the race so will have his work cut out to get on pace early.

"The Grand Prix of Italy is something special. Competition is in the air, you can feel people's passion and the track is so technical and spectacular at the same time. There are few other places that reward riding so greatly," said Biaggi.

"At Mugello I have always ridden great races and I really hope that next Sunday the positive result my team and I are looking for will come. We've been working hard and we deserve much more than what we have picked up until today. I'm also looking forward to seeing my fans as always at the Casanova Savelli's hill. I would really like to give a smile to my team, my fans and, why not, to myself too."

Hayden, who secured a front row start at the 5.24km track last year, will be keen to put the knowledge gained in the tests to good use. Mugello is a circuit that requires the best from every aspect of the motorcycle.

Hayden and his team will try and find that fine balance that will help him change direction on his RC211V through the high-speed roller-coaster of a circuit situated between Florence and Bologna. The 23-year-old has spent some time in New York since the last GP on promotional duties for the up-coming Red Bull US GP.

"I'm looking forward to getting back out there after this short spring break which actually has been pretty busy with a whole load of promotional pre-US GP work," explained the American youngster.

"Although the last race was not too good we had a good test right after and I'm hopeful we found some things that should work well in Mugello. The circuit was quite hard to learn but it's surely one of the most incredible circuits I've ever seen with a fantastic atmosphere over the race weekend."

"It's built on an impressive site, on top of a hill, and it needs a very good set-up for a good lap time. We qualified there okay last year but I crashed out in the race so we didn't make the finish. The schedule is pretty mad in June with three races so it'll be important to start the month well and get a good momentum."

MotoGP, 2005, GRAN PREMIO ALICE D'ITALIA, Repsol Honda Team

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