Mugello Circuit Track Walk
In the Thursday Press Conference, Valentino Rossi was asked why Mugello was so enjoyable to ride. Paraphrasing, part of his answer was that the circuit was not designed 100% on a computer, but rather follows the natural elevation changes of the hills in this area.
Later that afternoon, Steve English and I walked the circuit and as usual, doing so revealed things about the layout that are not obvious even from as nearby as the side of the track. From behind the armco you can’t see the rider’s perspective. You can see elevation changes, but looking at something from the side is just not the same as standing where the rider will be and looking at what he or she will see.
Below, some photos from our walk with a few comments.
The track surface, off the racing line with no rubber. With each season more rubber will fill in those cracks.
Mugello is certainly a track where TV doesn’t show the elevation changes very well. The climb at the pit lane exit is substantial.
Its peak is just between the two rows of truck cabs where a service road entrance interrupts the wall on the right side.
The wall on the left side at the fastest part of the track is unnervingly close to motorcycles, or more to the point, motorcycle riders, going over 200 MPH.
I don’t suppose there’s a good kind of concrete wall to hit, but this one has exposed metal as well as concrete.
After the crest of the first hill, the descent to San Donato is substantial and is the first example of one of Mugello’s defining characteristics. Several of its turns either climb or descend as they curve around. Notice as well the fresh paint, which has been redone for this event around the circuit, often where section of astroturf have been removed to be safer in wet conditions.
The climb to Luco is also much steeper than the TV indicates.
On Thursday, the track is host to plenty of exercise as paddock residents run, cycle, and walk. Occasionally Dorna will film part of a feature out on track as well.
Come Sunday, this section above Borgo San Lorenzo will be elbow to elbow with fans, and the trash they’ll leave behind will make it difficult to see the grass beneath after they’ve cleared off.
At the crest of the hill after Turn 5, the riders begin a dramatic descent into Casanova and Savelli, perhaps the steepest part of the circuit.
Continues on the next page: