San Carlo Honda Gresini riders Alvaro Bautista and Michele Pirro are both desperate for a good result this weekend as the Italian team competes in its home Grand Prix at Mugello. Bautista fought hard to finish seventh in Germany despite starting from the back of the grid and without that handicap here, he thinks he's capable of challenging the leaders.
“Sachsenring was a strange and unique race for me. Starting from the back of the grid is not easy but after a tough start to the race I found my pace, made up ground and ended up fighting to finish fifth. This experience will serve us well for Mugello even though the characteristics of the circuit are very different to Sachsenring. It will be very important to find a good setting if we want to be competitive otherwise you really struggle at this track. I really want to have a good race because this is a very important event for the team. I am sure that the progress we have made over the last few races will see us back in the lead group in Italy.”
Mugello is also a home event for Pirro and the MotoGP rookie is determined to mark the occasion by finishing as the top CRT rider.
“I am still upset about the technical problem that forced me to retire from the race in Germany but I am also confident that the guys will be able to study the data and make sure we don’t suffer this issue again. It was a real shame because I am sure that without it I could have been fighting to be the top CRT at Sachsenring. We will make up for it at Mugello, a circuit where we are obliged to do well in front of our home crowd and sponsors. I am excited about it and can’t wait to get on track and see how competitive our bike is there. The bike is still new and every track is a discovery but on paper Sachsenring was not going to suit us and we showed we could be competitive there so that gives us a lot of confidence. I really want to have a great race because a lot of people are coming from my hometown of San Giovanni Rotondo to support me at Mugello.”
Team Manager Fausto Gresini is happy with the direction his squad is moving in and expects their strongest weekend of the season so far.
“We knew Sachsenring was going to be a tough race but Alvaro stayed upbeat and produced an extraordinary performance. Despite starting from the back of the grid he found the motivation to recover positions and achieve a great result. It was exciting to watch and I think Germany just proved the progress we have made lately and it should give Alvaro the confidence to have another good weekend at Mugello. He likes the track and if we can find a good setting for the bike he can be back up at the front again. Michele also has plenty of reasons and motivation to do well at Mugello and to put behind him the disappointment of Sachsenring. In front of a lot of friends and fans on a circuit that should suit our CRT bike Michele should be able to fight to be the top CRT and bring a good result home for the team. The Italian Grand Prix is always very important to our team. It will be an exciting weekend and we are looking forward to sharing it with San Carlo and all our other partners who share in and support this project.”