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1 hour ago
By motogp.com

Glory or gravel: Baldassarri sets sights on home turf

The Italian has either won or failed to finish so far this season. So will Mugello follow the pattern?

It remains an all-or-nothing season for Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) as the dust settles after Le Mans, with the Italian suffering a second DNF of the season at another track where he'd struggled in the past. But with three out of three he's finished being wins, 75 points is enough to keep him on top - and Mugello is somewhere he's shone. It's also home turf.

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So are the grid to expect Baldassarri straight back at the business end? If Texas was anything to go by, the answer may well be yes. But it's a deep grid this season and there are plenty who'll be trying to get in his way. Fellow home heroes Mattia Pasini (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) are two who share his serious motivation, and Pasini especially could be a serious threat...

The men with some momentum after Le Mans, however, are winner Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), newcomer to the front Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40), and Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up). Navarro has three podiums in a row now, and he's chomping at the bit to go one better. Putting all the pieces together to perfection so far, a win can't be too far away.

But what of those needing, like Baldassarri, a bounce back? Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) may have made some points gains in France but it wasn't as much as he would have wanted after a tougher race, teammate Marcel Schrötter wants more, and early season pace man Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) has had two DNFs in a row...leaving him equal on points with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as the South African starts to find some more traction for KTM.

Will Baldassarri reign the stunning Tuscan scenery of Mugello and make it a fourth win of the year? Can Marini give the home crowd more to cheer about? Or will the Spaniards, Australians, South Africans fight back...find out on Sunday 2nd June.

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