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This weekend, Repsol Honda Team’s Jorge Lorenzo returns to Mugello twelve months on from a victory he described as the best in his career. The three-time World Champion silenced many of his critics by winning on a Ducati and by winning in stunning style. Now he arrives at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley with the sole aim of emulating that success of a year ago.
2018 Italian Grand Prix: MotoGP™ Full Race
Lorenzo heads to northern Tuscany slightly buoyed after showing glimpses of what he can be capable of on a Repsol Honda over the past few rounds. Despite failing to finish inside the top ten so far in 2019, he has closed the gap to the leading group and even admits himself that he’s making “good progress” since the MotoGP™ paddock returned to Europe.
If Lorenzo is to put in a first headline grabbing performance on a Honda anywhere on the calendar, Mugello is surely the place for him to do it. The Spaniard has remarkably finished outside of the top two at Mugello just twice in his premier class career – the first coming on his debut outing on a MotoGP™ bike there and the second coming two years ago during his first season onboard a Ducati.
2016 Italian Grand Prix: MotoGP™ Full Race
Plus, when you throw in six victories, five of which have come in the past seven years, there is absolutely no doubting that Mugello has been Lorenzo’s Land over recent years.
The factory Honda rider reverted back to a standard RC213V seat at Le Mans and immediately felt it gave him a much better feeling on the bike. After saying in France he’s starting to feel more comfortable, Italy could be the breakthrough weekend the number 99 is desperately needing.
“We made good progress in Le Mans with the setting of the bike and were able to be much closer to the front,” said Lorenzo, after his best finish on a Honda of eleventh. “I’ve had success in the past at Mugello, so I am hopeful of continuing to improve our position.”
Repsol Honda Team manager, Alberto Puig, came out after the French GP to back Lorenzo by stating he still believes in the 32-year-old’s “potential, history and five World titles” - support that he is hoping to repay them for: “The Repsol Honda Team has been working very hard and I am sure soon I will be able to achieve some results to thank them.”
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