Paolo’s Blog

MUGELLO GP 02/06/2024

Finally, we can say again “Al Mugello non si dorme” (At Mugello you don’t sleep)!
Try explaining to someone who has never been there about the embracing fragrance of grass and gasoline, the thousand colors parading on the hill, the flags waiving high. The roar of the chainsaws, the chaotic lawn and the incredibly passionate and fiercely alive audience.

I still don’t know if the circuit was filled to capacity due to the thrilling races or the parties on the lawn, but whatever the reason, we’re happy about it, despite some people plotting against the show. The race direction, to name one, with its classic and questionable way of applying “double standards”. Their (because they are a group of people) absurd decisions, never made consistently, make me think they are watching different footage instead of the VAR. I can’t explain the penalty given to Holgado for irresponsible riding, his maneuver was just to avoid the rider in front of him. I can’t understand why Zurutuza was not penalized either, as he involved Farioli in his crash. In my opinion, these are two race incidents that should not be punished, they can happen. They are far from the irresponsible riding being talked about, and if we really want to consider them as such, then it’s better we stay at home peeling potatoes next time.

Let’s talk about us. I haven’t written the blog since 2015, and there is a lot to discuss.
The team made a significant step forward in Barcelona, with two riders in the top ten. We started to get noticed. Here, at the first Italian Gp, we had a bit more complicated qualifying session, but Lunetta managed to secure the 6th position: his first second row. Meanwhile, Farioli didn’t improve in Q2 but instead took home penalties, as Race Direction was, as always, handing out long lap penalties as hotcakes.

In the race, Lunetta was 4th at the first corner when Veijer, with a cunning manuever, bumped into Luca, causing him to lose his pace and, in an instant, dropped to 15th place. Farioli was a victim of the incident with Zurutuza, and after a terrifying crash that fortunately didn’t have the disastrous consequences one might have thought, the race was red-flagged.
Grid 2: great work by all the mechanics to fix the bike. Lunetta started 15th (it was the position before the red flag), while Farioli started last.
Luca had an aggressive race and finished leading the chasing group. I can’t say it was a bad race, but I’m a bit embittered for a podium that we could have reached, and instead we couldn’t even get close to. Regarding Farioli, who had to serve two penalties, there was nothing to be done.
Filippo is very talented and he rides incredibly well.
However, he is young and sometimes tends to get a bit discouraged by difficulties instead of reacting. I know it’s a tough period for him because nothing seems to work smoothly, but I’ve been through it too with Marco and sooner or later things must start to move in the right direction. It’s like a boat, sometimes the wind pushes too hard against you and there’s nothing you can do but stay afloat. But then the sky clears, the sea calms down, and that’s the moment you have to push. We are happy to have him in our team, today we hold his hand to stay afloat, but when the wind blows from the right direction, we’ll be ready to row alongside him even stronger.

MotoE will be present during all the European races. Over the years, the competition has changed significantly. Initially it was used by former riders to return to the spotlight, but today the level has risen drastically. On the grid, there’s a group of young riders hungry for wins. Just think that there are ten riders within half a second, which says something about the quality of this category.
Race 1 was stopped due to rain after not even half a lap, which was enough for Manfredi to destroy the bike (luckily, Dorna covers the batteries).
Race 2: taking advantage of his experience on this track, Roccoli had an exemplary race, missing the podium by just 5 thousandths. A podium chance vanished in a final sprint that he could have managed better. In race 1 (the one that was restarted later) he didn’t make the same mistake, he waited for the right moment to secure the 7th place.
I appreciated that Manfredi raced despite a cracked rib and a painful knee due to the fall.

Last but not least, I am proud of the work done by the hospitality team during this hectic weekend. They served a total of 208 guests, divided into four lunch shifts plus dinners. They always did it in a very kind way, trying to satisfy every request with a smile. Those working in the industry will surely understand it’s not easy.
I would also like to thank the sponsors, or rather their wives, because with their helps they contributed to make everyone’s work easier. Especially when my daughter Martina wasn’t feeling well in Barcelona, their kindness was greatly appreciated.
I thank Silvia Cortellazi and her team, as well as Renzo Grigoli and his guys, for their commitment and the impeccable logistical assistance.

It has been some great trips, but Mugello remains our par excellence GP. It’s up to you try to explain this: the return of the Mugello we knew, after three years of deathly silence. Welcome back, passionate bikers, we missed you!