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… but the four-strokes are now comfortably pushing beyond the 340kmh 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 dialled 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 main 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.