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Hayden and Pedrosa await Mugello return

Hayden and Pedrosa await Mugello return

The Repsol Honda MotoGP team members head to Mugello in quite different states of mind.

The Repsol Honda MotoGP team members head to Mugello in quite different states of mind. Whilst Dani Pedrosa was able to finish fourth at Le Mans and keep touch with the championship leaders, reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden now has a DNF and a cracked rib to contend with from his visit to France. The American was on the podium last year in an exciting race, and this time round he emphasises that, injury or no injury, he has a point to prove.

"You can't really believe the atmosphere at Mugello until you feel it and I'm really looking forward to going back there," said ‘Trick Daddy'. "The fans love it and come ready for their one MotoGP race of the year, and we love riding there too. The track is about as good as it gets because it's got a little bit of everything – elevation changes, a long straight which normally makes the race really close because drafting is so important, and there are a lot of fast changes of direction which are critical to a good lap. The surface is starting to get a little bit worn and bumpy so it's definitely important to have the bike set up to soak up the bumps well."

"You also need a machine you can be really aggressive with in those changes of direction. I've heard they've made the track a little bit safer this year so that's a good thing. The result in Le Mans was a disappointment but I told the team that one was down to me. So I need to make it up to the boys this weekend and try to get a good finish. I'm looking forward to Mugello we'll see what we've got when we get there."

Pedrosa was just off the podium in his first MotoGP visit to Mugello, and remains confident that he can improve further as a result of added experience and information gathered at the post-race Le Mans test. The Spaniard is currently on his longest winless streak since he took his first 125cc victory, and knows that a win has to come soon if he is to catch up with Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi at the top of the leaderboard.

"Mugello is always a challenging track to ride and it will be interesting to find out how the circuit feels on the new 800cc," said the 21 year old. "Last year was my first time here in MotoGP and the track was certainly one of the most physically demanding tracks we visit all year from a riding point of view, with many fast changes of direction. Still I was able to stay in touch with the leaders and get fourth place last year, which was a pretty good result."

"The long start/finish straight will make top speed a really important factor again, like in China, and I think some of the other teams have tested here a lot and will be fast again on the straight especially. We made some progress at the test after Le Mans and the team collected a lot of information from the two days, so hopefully we can work to improve our package a little and get a good result this weekend."

MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, Nicky Hayden, Dani Pedrosa

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