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Italian hopes soar as Moto3™ Championship heads to Mugello

Italian hopes soar as Moto3™ Championship heads to Mugello

Fenati, Bastianini and Bagnaia filled the Le Mans podium with the Italian flag, perfectly setting the scene for their home round.

Mugello and Romano Fenati have a long and joyful relationship together, the fiery Italian finished second there in 2012 after racing around the Warm Up lap and sitting on the start line with arms defiantly crossed, exciting fans around the world. In 2014 Fenati would go one better and win the Italian GP, the SKY VR46 rider clearly boosted by the home crowd whenever racing in Italy.

His win in Le Mans was KTM’s first victory of the 2015 season, after the Austrian manufacturer had to play catch up due to a lack of preseason testing. The Italian’s confidence was boosted further by a private test at Almeria after the French round. Fellow KTM riders Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira both had difficulties in Le Mans after the tricky conditions of Qualifying and will no doubt have points to prove in Italy.

Enea Bastianini secured second after starting from 18th on the grid, a similar situation to when he scored his podium at the season open in Qatar. Mugello last year also had the Gresini rider in a similar situation, fighting for the lead having started in 16th, before he was taken out by Jack Miller and Alex Marquez while they battled in the leading group. An improved qualifying result should allow Bastianini to avoid such incidents this year.

Having finished outside of the top three for the first time in 2015 at Le Mans, Danny Kent is ready to return to the podium and continue to tighten his hold on the Moto3™ championship. The Brit currently has 104 points, his lead growing to 37 points as his initial championship rivals Quartararo and Vazquez both failed to finish in France.

Rookie Quartararo has never raced in Mugello but has so far demonstrated he is able to get up to speed quickly and has no difficulties learning new tracks. Both Jerez and Le Mans have shown that the Frenchman is still a rookie, but certainly his desire is there.

Mahindra and Francesco Bagnaia were both able to deliver on their potential and secure their first podium of 2015, as well as the first of his career. The Mahindra-Bagnaia combination is working well as the young Italian has been fighting towards the front frequently this season, something he was unable to do whilst on the KTM last year.

It is not just Italian riders out for a good result in Mugello, as both Alexis Masbou and John McPhee are desperate for a return to the top five. Masbou won in Qatar whilst McPhee scored a fifth yet the duo have been unable to repeat these results since, as they have struggled with finding a direction to head in when setting up the bike.

Mugello has been host to many exciting battles, especially in Moto3™. The 2014 race saw the top three covered by just 0.011 seconds, making it the closest grand prix podium finish of all time.

The Moto3™ on track action at the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM kicks off with FP1 on Friday at 9.00am local time.


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