MotoRacers Zippy in the right outfit on the route from Mugello in 2019 – after the occasional gloomy forecast for the weekend, the weather report is now predicting mostly sunny weather again as it was then. At the moment, however, there is a possible tendency for rain around noon of around 90 percent on Saturday.

Looking for the favourites for the 6th round of MotoGP in Italy

While Valentino Rossi encouraged his fans about his future, his compatriots in particular long to see him finally successful on the Yamaha again. The old master still spoke on an Indonesian channel about round 9 in Assen as a point of decision. At the same time, the Italian made the promise that he would do everything to be there next season at the premiere in Mandalika on the island of Lombok. Nobody expects the Yamaha icon to increase his record of 7 victories at the Autodromo di Mugello next Sunday. Even a podium would be a sensation for him and therefore, to the regret of his still huge fan base, the favourites have to be determined differently.

Our favorite stand in Mugello while hiking around the route, which unfortunately is not possible all the way around. Regional specialities and delicious sandwiches, at the level of “Poggio Secco” – this time the nice people are not making any money there, normal visitors are not allowed. Only a few well-off and well-connected people can sneak in, as has been the case since the corona pandemic.

The Ducatis – on paper, as usual, way ahead?

It is always amusing how supposed experts and even those who are referred to as these speak of routes. Paolo Ciabatti is such a joker using the example of his testimony before the double race in Qatar in 2021, when he spoke into the microphone of a “Ducati route” at Losail. Even then, Yamaha had totalled as many victories in MotoGP as Honda and Ducati together and now there are even two more. It sounds similar again from everywhere in front of Mugello and there the situation is exactly like in Losail, since the introduction of the four-stroke engine in the premier class. Yamaha have won ten victories since 2002, while Ducati and Honda riders have only managed four each. A long straight has not automatically turned a Ducati into a top favourite for years.

Jack Miller in yellow and black and in front of Marc Marquez Pecco Bagnaia in the same special paintwork and with a special helmet design in his national colours – the two Pramac Ducati target colleagues at the time did not finish the 2019 race (© Pramac Ducati).

The driver balance sheet at Ducati – grim for Miller and Pecco
Starting with the Reds works team, the record for “Jack Ass” is simply catastrophic. In the last 5 races of MotoGP, the Australian fell four times and only saw the chequered flag on P15 once. His Italian team-mate, on the other hand, only drove one Grand Prix in the top class at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, and he didn’t even see the chequered flag. At the 2019 Italian GP, first “Morbido”, then Rossi, Syahrin, Bagnaia crashed on lap 11 and a little later as the last of the five crash pilots Miller 8 laps before the end. Johann Zarco won a Moto2 race there in 2016. In MotoGP, he drove into the top ten twice on the “B-Yamaha” with a 7th place as the best result, while on the KTM 2019 he had no chance. On paper this makes the French a huge favourite among Ducati drivers.

Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati) is currently still the best of the Reds in terms of his previous consistency with two sixth World Championship ranks (at that time on Yamaha). The fast Frenchman had also been better than his brand colleagues in Mugello so far.

Yamaha and Honda – the real favourites?

Unless Suzuki finally achieves the breakthrough, at least because of their strengths, Yamaha and Honda should be among the favourites for the Italian Grand Prix. How little Marc Marquez’s cautious comments regarding his alleged handicap are worth was just as evident in Portugal as when he was alone in the lead at Le Mans before he fell. His words therefore have just as little meaning as if a Brad Binder is currently publicly dreaming of the Mugello podium. Much more important is real performance and the Honda has been one of the very best there for years and even in Spielberg with the highest percentage of full throttle it is no different. Just like Yamaha and without Quartararo’s physical problems, everything looked like a fourth win in a row up to Jerez for the brand with the crossed tuning forks in the logo. Together with the Frenchman, Maverick Viñales and the Honda drivers must therefore also be taken into account.

Mood picture of 2019 – two years later, MotoGP is returning here – but apart from the bikes on the track, it will be much quieter this time around.
The grandstand and route map of the Autodromo Internazionale di Mugello with the start-finish in the centre of the picture and the only covered grandstand in green, which is why sunscreen is definitely recommended if you want to sit there for hours. Otherwise, burns are inevitable.
Photographed on the way from our hotel in Imola to the route, across the Apennines on a wonderful tour with our bike. We were almost only there on two wheels, otherwise you could hardly get through the crowd anyway.

World Championship stand in all classes before the 6th round at Mugello

Lorenzo Dalla Porta’s number of points is in red because the Italian’s 5 points with 11th place were withdrawn due to his disqualification due to falling below the minimum total weight by 1 kg in the evening after the race.

The provisional combined calendar with a lot of overlap

While the last two overlaps between MotoGP and WorldSBK, marked in red, are not time-critical, this does not apply to the first three and Mugello starts with it. For more details on the next Grand Prix, see the preliminary report on the Italian GP on this page.

>WSBK Estoril and MotoGP Mugello preview: see separate report on this page.

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© MotoGP).