Italian MotoGP 2022 Preview: Mugello prepares for three-way lead battle

Following the battle in Le Mans, another venue full of history awaits to welcome the World Championship. The Mugello Circuit will host the Italian MotoGP 2022 and eighth round of the season’s calendar this weekend (May 27-29). 

Another exciting battle to lead this most even of championships, with the three main contenders separated at the top by a mere eight points, is set to take place against the the spectacular backdrop of the Tuscan countryside. 

With Valentino Rossi retired from the competition, local fans now have a new national hero, Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing). In any case, as a tribute to the racing legend’s career, his lifelong number will not be in use this Saturday at the track.  

‘La Bestia’ arrives at his home race in great spirits after his portentous exhibition in France, where he took his third victory of the season after Qatar GP & United States , ousting Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati), from the head of the race, which he had held for most of it. 

Naturally, after such a performance, the Tifosi have placed all of their hopes on him, particularly considering he is only eight points (with 98 points) away from leading the standings. 


Quartararo defends his lead from Espargaró and ‘The Beast’  

At the top of the standings, Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) will be defending his lead (102 points), now shrunk to just four points more than Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) and eight points more than Bastianini. 

Winner at Mugello in 2021, ‘El Diablo’ will need to extract all of the juice from his deficient M1 if he wants to repeat the feat. On top of this, he will be eager to make up for his home race where he fell short of a podium position. 

It was precisely, Espargaró that deprived him of that honour two weeks ago. The Spaniard took his third consecutive podium, and fourth of the season, in Le Mans, for a total of 98 points. 

Confident by his great state of form, the pilot from Granollers dreams of taking back the head of the standings in Tuscany, a position that he briefly occupied a few weeks ago. On Thursday, the team from Noale has renewed him & Maverick Viñales for 2023 & 2024 .

Ducati and Bagnaia: To make up for Le Mans  

Ducati arrives at this appointment, which is just 80 km away from its own factory, inmersed in a serious confidence crisis. The supposedly second rider of the Italian team and one foot out of the door, Jack Miller, leads the theoretical leader Pecco Bagnaia, by six points (62-56) in the standings. 

Renewed at the beginning of the season to become team capitan, the Torinese is not performing quite as expected. He has now been outperformed by Bastianini, who rides a Ducati from a factory-supported satellite team. His compatriot now has 38 more points (94-56) in the standings. Bagnaia really needs to extract the thorn of Le Mans by defeating his combative fellow Italian.


Marc Márquez: Unlikely to step on the podium  

The eight-time champion is not harbouring great hopes for the Italian MotoGP 2022. Marc Márquez (Honda) recently admitted, in a surprising and revealing interview, that he is not prepared to risk his already battered physique just to cut a few seconds with the riders ahead of him, if it is not to fight for great goals. 

Aware of the many weaknesses of his RC213V and his fragile physical condition (right arm), he has not been very combative of late, something quite unusual for the Spanish warrior. He currently occupies the 10th position in the standings, 40 points off the top. 


Suzuki under the shadow of its own departure  

In France, at his first appearance following Suzuki’s announcement of its withdrawal from the championship at the end of the year, Álex Rins crashed. As a result, the Spaniard dropped to fourth place in the drivers’ standings (69 points).

Affected by the same news, his partner Joan Mir, suffered the same fate. The rider from the Balearic Islands is now ninth with 56 points. The future of both pilots remains unclear although the 2020 champion might be close to signing a deal with Honda. However, the Spaniard duo want to fight for top spots at the Italian MotoGP 2022. 

Italian MotoGP 2022: Ducati. 


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