This weekend's Grand Prix of San Marino should be an emotional one for JiR Team Scot's Andrea Dovizioso, who will be looking to pull off another strong result to reward the support he is likely to get from the fans local to his home track at Misano.
A native of Forli, which lies around thirty kilometres from the circuit, Dovizioso ran the first race of his career at the nearby Romagna circuit, and has always enjoyed a strong following from the local fans. With four 'flyaway' races set to follow the Italian date, they and Dovizioso himself, will be hoping he leaves with the right sort of memories.
"This really is my home grand prix, so I am excited to run in front of my fans and the many friends who support on the many internet forums," the Italian, who is chasing fourth place in the MotoGP standings, commented, "Everyone is motivated to get a good result for both the Italian public and for my championship position.
"The track itself is pretty slow, because there are many curves and the straights are short, but this could help during the race. I like the circuit very much and, last year, I went well in practice and qualifying, but was the victim of a mechanical problem in the race, so I have unfinished business there.”
Misano has undergone a major revision around the exit of its pit-lane, which is now more than 250 metres long, increasing the overall circuit length from 4.18km to 4.23km, and the entire JiR team is confident that its man can produce the sort of strong ride that has seen him linked to bigger things for next season.
"The two races on Italian circuits are the most anticipated for us, and packed with fascination for the final result and tension as we try to get the best result we can," team manager Cirano Mularoni noted, "With our sponsors and friends present, we want to make it a special weekend and make a big impression in the race. However, after the last result, we expect to find improved technical conditions, which would allow Andrea to express his skill more and better exploit his Honda."
In common with fellow Michelin runners, Dovizioso and the JiR team have struggled to get the best from their tyres in recent races but as team director Gianluca Montiron explains, better things are expected at Misano.
"The championship is now entering its final stages, one in which the championship is in the balance and each race will affect the final outcome at the end of the season," he reflected, "For our part, we expect Michelin to react to this weekend's race determinedly, to enable us to achieve the competitiveness needed to make the difference in our favour. Our confidence in our technical partner is unchanged, and we will arrive at Misano motivated to gather the best possible result.”