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Hofmann set for 100th Grand Prix start

Hofmann set for 100th Grand Prix start

In a year of milestones for the MotoGP riders this season, Alex Hofmann is set for his 100th Grand Prix start at the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice.

In a year of milestones for the MotoGP riders this season, Alex Hofmann is set for his 100th Grand Prix start at the Gran Premio d'Italia Alice. This follows hot on the heels of Dani Pedrosa's somewhat muted celebration of the same achievement at Le Mans, and Shinya Nakano's personal century of premier class races completed in Turkey. The race comes just over a week after Hofmann's 27th birthday.

‘The Hoff' made his debut as a home wild card at Sachsenring in 1997, riding in the 125cc class. His next appearance came at the same race the following year, only by this time he had progressed to 250cc. This began a three year stint for the German in the quarter litre class, although in 2002 he was left without a ride and took up the opportunity of wild card rides for both Yamaha and Honda in MotoGP.

Hofmann's most lengthy stint with a single team was his association with Kawasaki; a three year stint during which he took what had until two weeks ago been his joint best finish in the premier class with eighth at the 2005 British Grand Prix. After leaving the green machine behind, he accepted his current ride with Pramac d'Antin at the start of 2006, where after an uncompetitive first year he is enjoying a rich run of form.

Onboard the Desmosedici GP7 with Bridgestone tyres, Hofmann already has more points to his name than during his entire 2006 season, a figure boosted by his career-best fifth place at this month's Alice Grand Prix de France. The last German rider to finish in the top five was Michael Rudroff at Misano in 1989, a race boycotted by the top riders. In terms of full-strength Grand Prix competition, Dieter Braun's fifth place at Anderstop in Sweden in 1975 was the last time any rider from the country achieved such a feat.

Race number 100 comes at a track much loved by Hofmann, who is a particularly keen on the Mugello atmosphere.

"The wonderful race that I had in Le Mans has given me further enthusiasm for the race in Mugello," he commented. ".For us it is a very important leg of the championship- since it is the home race for Pramac and Ducati- and I will do all I can to get a good result. The track is one of my favourites, very fast and fluent, and it is perfect for our Desmosedici. In my opinion the race in Mugello is one of the most exiciting in the Championship. There is always a special atmosphere and each year thousands of passionate fans cheer us on which gives me an extra motivation.

"My focus in this race is to finish in the top ten, because I would confirm the level of performance I showed in France and, furthermore, it would be a fitting occasion to say thanks to Pramac, Bridgestone, Ducati and my team for the consistently good work they have accomplished so far this season and for the confidence they have given me."


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