Eleven gaming hopefuls will take on the magnificent Mugello circuit in the first round of the 2021 MotoGP™ eSport Global Series as they battle to gain an early edge in the standings.
If a rider can be quick around Mugello, they can be quick just about anywhere. The layout is technical and challenging. And its fast, flowing nature leads it to routinely serve up some memorable racing.
As well as boasting one of the longest start-finish straights on the entire calendar, the track is a series of high-speed chicanes. When the undulations are taken into account, it provides a truly unique challenge that tests games skills and bravery in equal measure.
It all starts with that enthralling uphill plunge. As gamers cross the line they are already in sixth gear. Approaching the end of the 1.14k m straight they are posting the fastest speeds of any circuit in the world (Brad Binder was recorded at 362kph here during this year’s Italian Grand Prix, equalling MotoGP™’s all-time top speed record).
When approaching from such high speed, braking for San Donato (turn one) gains added importance. Gamers should ensure their machines are pointing straight when going over the left kink after the exit of pit lane. Moving to the left of the track before turn one is crucial to ensure you scrub off enough speed to make the apex.
It’s a short way to Luco (turn two). Riding uphill, only a minimum amount of braking is required but finding the right line through Poggio Secco (turn three) – usually a late apex – can set up an overtaking opportunity for Materassi (turn four). The turn four-five left-right requires precise braking and a smooth turning transition to make sure the gamer approaches Casanova Savelli (turns six and seven) with sufficient speed.
Valentino Rossi rates this stretch of tarmac as his very favourite in the world. One reason for that is the challenge it throws up. Approach it in fourth gear, drop down two and then gradually accelerate on the exit of Savelli. The Arrabbiata corners (turns eight and nine) are next up, which don’t require much heavy braking. Rather maintaining speed and gentle acceleration is critical.
Gamers approach Scarperia (turn ten) in fifth gear but its downhill nature requires a change back to second gear. After accelerating out of Palagio (turn eleven), the long Correntaio (turn twelve) hairpin requires smooth braking and patience before getting back on the gas. The players should still be accelerating as they enter the Biondetti chicane (turns 13 and 14). A quick gear change to fourth before switching from left to right should ensure the bike is well placed before the run to Bucine (turn 15), the final corner that should be taken in second gear. Again, a smooth exit is crucial to build speed onto the start-finish straight.
The key to a fast time here is all about smoothness and consistency. If you can do that, then you are in with a shout!
Who will start their campaign on top? Find out on Friday the 11th of June at 16:00 (GMT +2) as the all-important stage of the 2021 MotoGP™ eSport Championship Global Series kicks off!
Fans can watch on motogp.com and esport.motogp.com, on selected TV broadcasters, and across social media platforms including YouTube (via the MotoGP™ and MotoGP™ eSport channels), MotoGP™ eSport Twitter, Instagram, Facebook (via MotoGP™ and MotoGP™ eSport pages) and Twitch via MotoGP™ and MotoGP™ eSport.