- Round 5: Mugello, Italy
- Track length: 5245 m
- Opened: 1974
- Fastest Lap Ever: 1' 49.553 (Sete Gibernau, 2004)
- MotoGP lap record: 1' 51.133 (Sete Gibernau, 2004)
- Last year MotoGP winner: Valentino Rossi
- Circuit tel: +39 055 8499111
- Circuit web site: http://www.mugellocircuit.it
2004 MotoGP race summary;
Valentino Rossi held his nerve and maintained his race-long aggression to outpace his rivals not once but twice at Mugello during the 2004 Italian Grand Prix. In doing so he seized his second win since joining Yamaha, in outstanding style. The initial race was stopped with five laps remaining after rain interfered. Ultimately a six-lap restart would determine the final classification of the race, with the first section now nullified under the 2004 rules.
Rossi, who'd led Sete Gibernau's Honda on the last of the laps in the first running, repeated the trick in seemingly impossible damp conditions while on slicks. The 25-year-old (at the time) from Tavullia won by 0.361 seconds in the restart. With treacherous conditions to deal with Rossi was last in a six-rider group at one stage, before asserting his class and quality to outrun Gibernau and third placed Max Biaggi (Honda) in what proved to be a sprint race run on a knife-edge.
If the second running was a minor classic, the opener was conducted on a no less grand scale. Rossi drew roars from the crowd as he took the advantage from the start, leading into the first corner with his great Italian rival Biaggi in second place. A huge 300kmh crash on the main straight for Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) saw debris littering the track surface; the Japanese rider escaped serious injury by a whisker, although the race continued until the rains descended on lap 17.
2005 MotoGP Set-up report YZR-M1;
Located in the beautiful Tuscan hills, Mugello boasts a sequence of undulating medium to high-speed corners combined with a straight where even the former 500 two-strokes were capable of producing an outright top speed of 315kmh. The four strokes are now comfortably pushing beyond the 240kmh barrier.
Although picturesque, the Italian circuit has a reputation as a very demanding venue on chassis set-up and engine performance. In fact Mugello is a circuit that requires the best from every aspect of a race motorcycle. The main aim for each team will be to find a balanced geometry that will provide the rider with the ability to change direction quickly through the high-speed switchbacks, and especially through the tricky right-hander at the end of the main straight. This corner, to some extent, is the key to a fast time around Mugello as it influences the next sequence of turns dramatically. Make a mistake in this area and the lap-time will pay the price through the next series of turns.
Yamaha's chassis technicians will also need to provide a front-end which will offer the rider the feedback while braking into the numerous downhill Mugello turns. This is especially the case onto the front straight as it influences corner exit speed and eventual top speed.
The set-up involves lowering the front of the M1 to improve front-end feel and lighten the handling response through the chicanes. Mugello doesn't require a front-end to be dialed in as firm, regarding fork springs, as some circuits, but still the braking needs aren't quite as extreme - especially at the end of the mai9n straight. There is no major issue concerning bumps entering the turns, as at some circuits of similar age, resulting in a more linear medium-damping characteristic, a must to aid feel.
Where bumps are an issue will be on the exit of the turns. To ensure Yamaha riders will be able to find the necessary drive a medium to high rear spring-rate will be used, along with progressive rear suspension linkage rates. It will also be necessary to prevent squatting as riders wind the power on in the well-banked, high G-force corners.