This weekend will be one of the biggest of Loris Capirossi's life. The Italian rider, who has been contesting and winning World Championships since 1990, knows all about racing in front of an appreciative home crowd. But he knows that the 2003 Italian GP will be like no other.

"This will be a great weekend for us - it's my home GP and it's Ducati's home GP," he says. "I have ridden for another Italian factory but this is Ducati and it's MotoGP, so it's very, very big!"

Capirossi knows Mugello well - he won his first Mugello GP ten years ago in the 250 class. And three years ago he scored a famous 500 victory after a titanic battle with Italian rivals Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi.

The trio raced side by side, Rossi and Biaggi tumbling in the final laps to give Capirossi his second win in the premier class. Last year he struggled to sixth on a two-stroke 500, outpaced by the much faster four-strokes.

"Mugello will be a difficult race because it's a difficult track," he adds. "There's a lot for riders and engineers to understand: fast corners and fast changes of direction, downhill corners with negative camber and a few bumps. All this means a lot of work on chassis set-up. The most important part of the circuit is Casanova-Savelli, Arrabbiata one and two, and the last corner for a good drive onto the main straight. But speed won't be a problem - we have a lot of that!"



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